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Ex-Rīgas satiksme employee involved in two criminal cases Igors Volkinšteins has passed away

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Igors Volkinšteins

Former director of Riga municipal public transport company LLC Rīgas satiksme’s Infrastructure and Development Department Igors Volkinšteins has passed away, as reported by LETA.

Earlier in February, the office of the prosecutor had submitted to court the criminal case in which Volkinšteins and his family members are accused of illegally using the company’s fuel cards. Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court had planned to review this case on 7 July.

Laura Majevska, press-secretary to the office of the prosecutor, says authorities found out about Volkinšteins death from public sources, adding that the office does not have official information. The prosecutor of this case will continue maintaining prosecution in accordance with requirements of the law.

The Criminal Procedure Law mentions that if the accused has died during examination in the court of first instance, examination of a case  shall  be  continued  only  if  an  application  of  a  relative  of  the  deceased  regarding  continuation of criminal proceedings for exoneration of the deceased has been received within a month after death of the accused.

In this case the case’s review continues in accordance with general procedure.

Volkinšteins was one of the accused parties in the criminal case investigated by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) involving procurements organized by Rīgas satiksme. KNAB has released a statement, explaining it is not possible to comment information about the death of the aforementioned person. Nevertheless, the bureau has requested information from respective institutions. Once information has been received, the bureau will act in accordance with procedures of the Criminal Procedure Law.

KNAB also turns attention to the fact that the specific criminal process in the stage of pre-trial investigation and the process progresses independently from the origin, social and financial state of the people involved in the case or other factors.

BNN had previously reported that Volkinšteins was accused of supporting the use of another’s payment instruments in the criminal case. His son Jānis Volkinšteins and his wife Jūlija Volkinšteina are accused of illegally using another’s payment instruments.

Volkinšteins and his family members are accused of committing a total of 27 crimes between January 2017 and September 2018.

All of the accused deny their guilt.

Volkinšteins was briefly put under arrest and was later released for bond money of EUR 100 000.

KNAB has commenced a criminal process in relation to three procurements organized by Rīgas satiksme: the 2016 low-floor tram procurement worth EUR 62 597 477; the 2013 trolleybus procurement worth EUR 131 66 135, as well as the 2013 bus procurement worth EUR 75 808 297. The criminal process focuses on bribery of officials and money laundering.

According to TV3 programme Nekā personīga, Volkinšteins was the ‘coordinator’ – he was responsible for sitting everyone at the table – the manufacturers of vehicles and the people responsible for hiding the tracks of bribery so that everything goes by the agreed-upon scenario. The programme reported that meetings between representatives of bus, trolleybus and tram manufacturers with bribery scheme authors normally took place in the wine bar owned by Volkinštein’s son.

There are other people involved in this criminal case – businessman Aleksandrs Krjačeks, ex-RS board chairman Leons Bemhens, tram and trolleybus manufacturer Škoda Transportation official Vladislav Kozak, businessman Māris Martinsons, businessman Edgars Teterovskis and his wife Elīna Kokina.

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