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Wednesday 20.11.2019 | Name days: Anda, Andīna
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Bribery accused National Alliance member leaves party but stays in Riga City Council

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Politician Baiba Broka

Suspended vice-rector in University of Latvia Baiba Broka has decided to temporarily cease working in the National Alliance «All for Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK». At the same time, however, she has no plans to step down from her post in Riga City Council, as confirmed by the politician at a press-conference on Friday, 12 July.

The politician stresses that Latvian Biathlon Federation’s EUR 20 000 donation received from SIA Roadeks in 2017 is not in any way related to any favourable decisions in the University of Latvia House of Letters procurement, because the management of the university had not yet made any decisions in regards to the project as far back as then.

During the press-conference, Broka stressed that the EUR 20 000 received from SIA Roadeks was nothing more than a donation. The same was stressed by her lawyers, who added that all donations received by the federation were used to promote biathlon, support athletes and coaches, as well as organize sports events.

Broka stressed that 20% of funding for the federation comes from the state, 30% come from the International Biathlon Union, and the remaining 50% come from donations and advertisement contracts. The politician said neither she nor other Latvian Biathlon Federation’s board members are paid any wages.

Broka also claims she has not worked on any offers in the House of Letters procurement.

Broka’s lawyers, Rinalds Bušs and Jānis Zelmenis, confirmed that Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) is currently investigating only one episode, specifically the donation to Latvian Biathlon Federation. Lawyers said they will appeal the security measure applied to their client.

They also said that aside from the prohibition to take post in LU Procurement Committee, Broke is not applied with any other restrictions to take posts.

As previously reported, Broka was detained by KNAB on 8 July. She was later released on 10 July. KNAB does not say if LBF president Broka and businessman Guntis Rāvis are applied with security measures.

Oskars Ramiņš, lawyer for businessman Ivars Millers, has confirmed that his client is not allowed to leave the country and approach specific people. He did not reveal any names, however. His client is also a suspect. However, the lawyer did not provide any detailed information on this.

After exiting the holding cell, Rāvis told journalists that he does not admit guilt in the crime he is accused of.

KNAB had previously reported information regarding while in a post of deputy chairperson of a procurement committee, some state official may have acted in the interest of some businessmen. The investigator said facts uncovered during the investigation allow for the assumption that the state official had accepted a bribe, registering it as a donation to some association. The possible size of the bribe reaches EUR 20 000. LETA is aware the possible bribe was registered as a donation to Broka’s let Latvian Biathlon Federation.

The bribery in Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s (KNAB) criminal process in which vice-rector of University of Latvia (LU) Baiba Broka and businessmen Guntis Rāvis and Ivars Millers have been detained may be associated with LU Academic Centre’s House of Letters project, according to information from LETA.

The procurement for the construction of LU House of Letters was announced in spring 2018. The winner was sought in the tended through negotiations. The initial contract price was EUR 33 million.

The tender’s first stage was open, and seven companies had applied. Only some of them had made it to the second stage (the actual number is kept in secret). Initial price offers were too high, prompting the university to review projects with new offers following soon after. On Thursday, 11 July, it is planned to open up clarified offers. The university hopes a winner will be picked in a week’s time, said deputy rector for infrastructure development affairs Edīte Megne.

Megne noted that the university is not completely clear as to which of the procurements the criminal process is associated with – the situation is made unclear by KNAB’s public statements in regards to the people involved in the criminal process.

Megne said Skonto būve had taken part in the first stage of the tender, but she did not say if the company passed the first stage and if it remains among the contenders in the House of Letters construction project.

Guntis Rāvis owns 95% of shares in Skonto būve and Ivars Millers owns 5% of shares, according to information from Firmas.lv.


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