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Saturday 25.01.2020 | Name days: Sigurds, Zigurds
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Court commences viewing criminal case against governor of the Bank of Latvia

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Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs

The viewing of the criminal case against governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons by Riga District Court in Jurmala will commence today at 12:00 PM, according to information from the court calendar.

Judge Gundega Lapiņa has been picked as the presiding judge over this case.

As previously reported, the case was initially sent to Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court because, according to the prosecution, the crime was committed in Riga. However, the court decided to send the case to a court of justice in Jurmala, stating that the last crime detailed in the case was committed in Jurmala.

Rimšēvičs is accused of two crimes: acceptance of a bribe (paid leisure trip) and acceptance of a monetary bribe. He is also accused of money laundering.

Martinsons is accused of two crimes: supporting bribe offer and supporting bribe-taking. Like Rimšēvičs, he is also accused of money laundering.

The criminal case also details a process against some company for application of coercive measures.

On 24 May, Prosecutor Jirgena made a new decision, amending and expanding charges against both of the accused. On top of the aforementioned charges, the two are also accused of laundering EUR 250 000 of illegally obtained funds.

Read also: Informal talks commence about Bank of Latvia governor’s possible successor

On 24 May 2019 prosecutor Jirgena made the decision to amend and expand charges against Rimšēvičs and Martinsons – on top of existing charges, the two are also accused of laundering EUR 250 000 of illegally obtained funds.

The Office of the Prosecutor General believes Rimšēvičs had used the EUR 250 000 bribe to acquire real estate on behalf of some company, and the governor of the Bank of Latvia later became a co-owner of said real estate. A judicial process has also been launched against this company for enforcement of coercive measures, because money laundering was performed on behalf of this legal person. The Office of the Prosecutor does not reveal the name of this company, but public broadcaster TV3 programme Nekā personīga had previously reported that the expanded charges are related to the business deal in which Martinsons’ owned MM Investīcijas had purchased real estate in Jurmala, Baznīcas Street 2.

Prosecutor Jirgena informed journalists in summer 2018 that Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) commenced this case following a request from two shareholders of the now liquidated Trasta Komercbanka. The two shareholders are bribe-givers in the criminal case, but they have been relieved of criminal liability because they had voluntarily reported the crime to authorities.

One of the forms of assistance Rimšēvičs had provided included preparing answers to FCMC questions in relation to liquidity and non-resident affairs.

Jirgena also explained that Rimšēvičs failed to complete requests so he was paid only part of the money – EUR 250 000. According to the prosecutor, Martinsons was a mediator in this crime – he received 10% of the bribe amount. The prosecutor adds that bribery was performed using cash.


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