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Monday 22.07.2019 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina

Latvian corruption watchdog detains three people for bribery

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Riga City Council deputy Baiba Broka

On Monday, 8 July, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) detained three people for accepting a bribe of EUR 20 000. Among those people is Riga City Council deputy and University of Latvia deputy rector for legal affairs Baiba Broka, according to information from LETA.

University of Latvia vice-rector for humanitarian sciences and education Ina Druviete has confirmed that KNAB officers had arrived at the university on Monday. However, she did not comment if any investigative activities were performed. Druviete did not provide any other comments on the situation.

Initially, KNAB offered no comments in regards to any searches or detainments performed on Monday. However, KNAB later released information that as part of a previously launched criminal process the bureau performed certain investigative measures, including a number of searches. The criminal process was launched in relation to a bribe offer to a state official and acceptance of said bribe by the official.

KNAB has discovered information that proves the state official, while in the post of procurement committee’s deputy chairperson, may have acted in the interest of specific businessmen. Uncovered facts allow for the belief that following a mutual agreement, the state official had accepted a bribe from businessmen, registering the bribe as a donation to an association, KNAB explained.

The possible size of the bribe is close to EUR 20 000.

The 2019 decision of the University of Latvia Procurement Committee on a certain procurement shows that Broka is the chairperson of the aforementioned committee. Her deputy is University of Latvia Administration Support Group’s leading expert Anda Ozola.

KNAB promises to provide more information once it is possible to do without impacting the interests of the investigation.

So far it has not been possible to contact Baiba Broka, because her phone is switched off.

Previously KNAB provided not comments in regards to any ongoing criminal processes or investigative actions (searches or detainments). The bureau only mentioned that KNAB continues performing different investigative actions, including court-sanctioned searches, interrogations, as well as evaluation of information acquired through investigations.

«We would like to stress that in the interest of the investigation, KNAB is unable to comment on performed or planned investigative actions. KNAB performs all actions in accordance with requirements of the Criminal Process Law,» KNAB notes.

Head of National Alliance «All for Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» Riga branch Edvards Ratnieks said the party has no information regarding any possible detainment of Baiba Broka. At the same time, he said the party fully trusts security institutions.

Baiba Broka is also the president of Latvian Biathlon Federation. She was also once Latvia’s Justice Minister. Broka decided to step down when the prosecutor general decided to not change the decision of the Constitution Protection Bureau to not provide her access to official secrets.

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