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Court satisfies accused insolvency administrator’s objection to prosecutor Cinkmanis

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Ex-insolvency administrator Māris Sprūds

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court’s Judge Imants Dzenis has satisfied the objection voiced by the lawyer of ex-insolvency administrator Māris Sprūds to prosecutor Uldis Cinkmanis.

The latter is one of the prosecutors presiding over the criminal case in which Māris Sprūds is accused of embezzlement, abuse of power, money laundering and extortion in an organized group. There are ten accused people in this criminal case.

Justifying his decision, Dzenis stressed that ever since the viewing of the case had first started all efforts have been focused on preventing a conflict between Sprūdu and Cinkmani.

After the session Sprūds told journalists that the court has deepened its understanding of the situation.

He also criticized Cinkmanis, saying that the prosecutor compensates his «average ability» with all kinds of «procedural dirty tricks». Sprūds also mentioned that his colleagues have told him that ‘perhaps this greenhorn [Cinkmanis] is a benefit for you’.

The ex-insolvency administrator also believes the other prosecutor of the case – Zane Pavāre – is only partially familiar with materials of the case.

The prosecutor’s representative Laura Majevska says that because the aforementioned ruling is not subject to appeal, the prosecutor’s office is forced to comply. The Criminal Procedure Law details that one or several prosecutors can maintain state prosecution in a case. Prosecutor Pavāre currently remains in charge of state prosecution in the criminal case. She adds that the objection will not affect the outcome of the case.

The next court session is scheduled for 09:00 a.m. on 27 September.

The objection was submitted by Sprūds’ lawyer Jānis Rozenbergs, who said the prosecutor has a personal conflict with his client. The ex-administrator had previously submitted a request to the prosecutor’s office, detailing possible illegalities with personal data committed by Cinkmanis. A disciplinary case has been launched against him. Sprūds has also submitted a request to the prosecutor’s office to commence a criminal process against prosecutor Cinkmanis over aforementioned illegalities.

The lawyer stressed that Cinkmanis had given all participants of the case materials of the case containing personal data (contacts, medical documents and other sensitive information), including that of witnesses. This means a breach of the Criminal Procedure Law on protection of personal data.

The criminal case viewed by court was submitted at the end of November 2018. The first session took place 25 January 2019. Nevertheless, the case has to be viewed in detail.

The prosecutor’s office has yet to provide comments on charges. However, LETA is aware that Sprūds is accused of embezzling approximately EUR 2.6 million from Dzimtā seta and Peltes īpašumi insolvency processes. He is also accused of extorting approximately EUR 1.2 million in Trasta komercbanka liquidation process.

In the same criminal case charges are raised against ex-insolvency administrator Ilmārs Krūms for negligence. Financier Jorens Raitums, who is also involved in other criminal cases, is accused of extortion in an organized group and money laundering.

Construction businessman Mārtiņš Krūms is accused of extortion in an organized group, and businessman Guntars Slišāns – for extortion in an organized group and money laundering. Irish citizen and businessman Timothy Kelley is accused of money laundering.

In January 2018, public broadcaster LTV programme De Facto reported that Sprūds and Krūms had threatened confiscating money owned by Trasta komercbanka’s creditors.

The investigation has uncovered that Sprūds, Krūms and four others among creditors had extorted considerable amounts. According to law enforcement representatives, creditors were told – to recover deposits, you have to pay. Threats were used. Creditors were told that if they do not pay Krūms, Sprūds and others, their money would be market as illegally acquired and they would never see it again, the programme reported.

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