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Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
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Prosecutor General’s Office asks KNAB investigate businessmen Krūmiņš and Valters in more detail

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has decided to not commence a criminal prosecution of businessmen Jūlijs Krūmiņš and Haralds Balodis, as well as ex-basketball player Valdis Valters for influence trading.

The prosecutor responsible for the case has cancelled Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s decision to submit the criminal process for commencement of criminal prosecution and has asked KNAB to continue its investigation, as confirmed by the Prosecutor General Office’s public relations specialist Una Rēķe.

The prosecutor mentioned the evidence submitted along with the case is not enough to commence criminal prosecution.

According to information from KNAB, some legal person had turned to court against a municipality in relation to development of a construction plan. To resolve the conflict with the municipality in a favourable way, representatives of the legal person had turned to a private person to influence an official of the municipality.

In exchange for ‘help’, representatives of the legal person had promised the private person company shares. According to information from KNAB, capital shares were handed to the private person for the duration of the project’s implementation. After this agreement, the municipality and the legal person signed a peaceful resolution in court, KNAB reports.

The bureau has not turned against any of the municipality’s officials.

According to LETA, one of the suspects in this criminal case is businessman Jūlijs Krūmiņš, who is already involved in two other criminal cases.

Krūmiņš denies being involved in a criminal case involving trade of influence. The businessman has been retired for ten years – «I haven’t bought anything, and all this is just rumours». «Something must’ve been mixed up. Maybe it’s a different Krūmiņš. I work in the business that involves building ports and moving freight. This is just some rumour again. I’ve not been called anywhere in the last half-year,» said the businessman.

The other two suspects in the criminal case are representatives of the legal person. According to LETA, these two might be ex-basketball player Valters and businessman Balodis. The news agency council not get a hold of Valters to get his comments.

The Criminal Law states that trading of influence is punishable with up to five years in prison, community service or fine.

According to information from firmas.lv, Balodis and Valters are former co-owners of SIA Kser. This company wanted to build a wood chip CHP plant in Jurmala. This initiative caused a scandal because there were concerns that this CHP plant would mean closure for the city’s own recently built boiler house.

Kser, which has since been renamed M7 Energy, is owned by SIA Luxtrade. The latter is owned by Dmitrijs Artjušins. Balodis owned 54.57% of shares in the company until April 2017. 22.71% of shares were owned by SIA Bepo, whose only owner was Valters until autumn 2017. In autumn 2015 Kser experienced a short term change of leadership, when Cyprus-based Uztema Holding Limited becase a 51% owner of the company for a couple of weeks.

In April 2017, pietiek.com reported KNAB commencing a criminal process regarding trading of influence in Jurmala. It was allowed in the publication at the time that the case may have been associated with possible corruption in Jurmala municipality’s Jūrmalas siltums’s unjustifiably increased prices in wood-chip procurement and dealings with Kser.

This case was reported widely at the end of 2016, when it became known that multiple businessmen had offered Jurmala city to supply heating energy to Kauguri from a yet non-existent wood chip CHP plant. Then the chairman of Jurmala City Council Gatis Truksnis (UGF) claimed having no insistence on signing a contract with Kser. He did say, however, that the company would have possibly produced cheaper heating energy than the municipality’s companies, pietiek.com reported.

On 17 November 2016 Jūrmalas siltums signed an agreement for procurement of heating energy from Kser. The latter requested signing the contract for ten years.

Kser had sent Jūrmalas siltums and agreement project, in which the company detailed the desire to sign the agreement for ten years. Jūrmalas siltums’ CEO at the time Zigurds Starks did not sign it in the end. He left his post later and claimed Truksnis had told him multiple times that the agreement should be signed. Truksnis said in response that he never forced Starks to sign the agreement, rather wanted Starks to talk with investors about a mutually acceptable solution.


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