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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Suspect in Riga public transport company's criminal case released on bail

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Wednesday, 3 April, Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court received a payment of EUR 500,000 for the release on bail of businessman Māris Martinsons, who is involved in the criminal case regarding procurements of public transport company Rīgas satiksme.

This means he will be released from Riga Central Prison on 3 April.

The law states that bail money can be paid by the accused or any other private or legal person.

The person who pays the bail money also needs to submit to the prosecutor responsible for the criminal case a written explanation, detailing the origin of the money and the name of the person for whom this money is paid.

If the suspect fails to comply with his duties in accordance with their status or commits another crime, the bail money is transferred to the state budget.

EUR 500,000 is one of the largest amounts of bail to have had been paid in the history of Latvia’s court justice system. The same amount of bail money was also calculated for the suspect in Trasta komercbanka, businessman Māris Sprūds, as well as bribery accused businessman Boris Rjazanskis.

Currently the only suspect in the Rīgas satiksme procurements criminal case that remains under arrest is Czech company Škoda Transportation’s official Vladislavs Kozaks. Nevertheless, the security measure applied to him will soon be reviewed.

At the beginning of December 2018, Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court decided to put six out of seven suspects in this case under arrest. These suspects include long-term member of Honour to Serve Riga political party and businessman Aleksandrs Krjačeks, Rīgas satiksme’s Infrastructure and Development Department’s director Igors Volkinšteins, former chairman of the management board of Rīgas satiksme Leons Bemhens, Kozaks, Martinsons and businessman Edgars Teterovskis.

Teterovskis’ wife and board member of the now liquidated Tram Servis Riga Elīna Kokina was initially applied with a security measure not associated with deprivation of freedom.

Krjačeks was released from custody a week after his detainment. Bemhens was released on bail in exchange for EUR 200,000 in February. Volkinšteins paid bail money of EUR 100,000 and Teterovskis paid EUR 70,000 for his release. The money has been paid and all three of them have been released.

According to Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the criminal process was launched based on reports that said representatives of Czech and Polish companies, having reached an agreement with Riga City Council’s and Rīgas satiksme’s officials, committed criminal activities with help from private persons and their associates. These persons performed money laundering and ensured influx of funds using actual and fictive companies, thereby ensuring bribes for officials of Riga City Council and Rīgas satiksme in three procurement projects.

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau adds that the investigation to determine exact amounts of bribes continues.

Investigative journalism programme Nekā personīga reported that for every trolleybus, tram and bus supplied to Riga, a bribe of 5-7% of the value was paid. The total value of the three procurement projects exceeds EUR 270 million. This means bribes may have ranged between EUR 13.5 – EUR 20 million.


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