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Wednesday 20.02.2019 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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Bank of Latvia governor permitted to appoint his substitute in European Central Bank

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUFollowing European Union Court’s order, the Prosecutor General’s Office has clarified the security measure applied to bribery accused governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. He has been given the right to appoint his substitute in the European Central Bank Council, as confirmed by Prosecutor General’s Office representative Aiga Eiduka.

‘The security measure was not changed – it was clarified. Now he has the right to appoint a substitute ECB council member,’ says Eiduka.

The court has reviewed the proposal from ECB on a temporary solution, as part of which the court would order Latvia to halt for a time the restriction for Rimšēvičs to participate as ECB Council member so that he is able to appoint a substitute ECB Council member to replace him.

EU Court’s deputy chairman released an order in accordance with which Latvia would have to perform necessary measures to halt restrictions imposed by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau far enough that restrictions do not stop him from appointing a substitute in the ECB Council.

ECB’s proposal for a temporary solution has been denied in other aspects of regulations.

As previously reported, Rimšēvičs asked EU Court to admit restrictions imposed by CPCB were applied illegally.

On 18 June, CPCB sent materials of the criminal case against Rimšēvičs and businessman Martinsons to the prosecutor’s office for commencement of criminal prosecution.

BNN had previously reported that after his arrest, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs was applied with a security measure that prohibits him from performing his duties. This was confirmed by Latvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis after an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Rimšēvičs is held suspect of demanding and accepting a bribe worth at least EUR 100,000.

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau launched the criminal case against Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons following requests from two unnamed Trasta komercbanka shareholders, as confirmed by the case’s supervisory prosecutor Viorika Jirgena.

She added that both shareholders are part of the criminal case. Both are bribe-givers who have been relieved of criminal liability because they confessed their crimes voluntarily.

Jirgena adds that one of the shareholders asked Rimšēvičs to assist in matters associated with Finance and Market Commission in 2010. In exchange for his assistance, Rimšēvičs was offered a paid vacation in Kamchatka. In 2012, the same shareholder together with another one turned to Rimšēvičs again with the same request. As payment, Rimšēvičs requested EUR 500,000 to be paid in two parts – one half before FCMC’s decision and the other after.

The prosecutor added during a press briefing that after the 2010 agreement Rimšēvičs had provided numerous consultations to the Trasta komercbanka shareholder, attempting to influence FCMC’s decisions. Consultations were provided after the 2012 agreement as well, but even though Rimšēvičs had succeeded influencing FCMC’s decisions, which was beneficial to his ‘client’, there had also been decisions that were not beneficial. One of the forms of assistance Rimšēvičs had provided the shareholder was helping prepare answers to questions from FCMC in regards to the bank’s profitability and matters associated with non-residents.

Jirgena explained that Rimšēvičs had failed to do what he had promised. Because of that, he was only paid EUR 250,000. According to the prosecutor, Martinsons played the part of the mediator in this case. He was also paid 10% of the bribe’s amount. The prosecutor adds that the bribe was paid in cash.


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