Former governor of Bank of Latvia receives actual prison sentence for bribery.
On Wednesday, the 20th of December, Riga District Court in Jurmala found former governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs guilty in the bribery criminal case. It sentenced him to six years in prison with one year of probation.
The court also sentenced Rimšēvičs to confiscation of property. This includes several pieces of real estate he owns.
THE VERDICT IS SUBJECT TO APPEAL AT RIGA REGIONAL COURT.
Neither Rimšēvičs nor the other accused in the criminal case – businessman Māris Martinsons – admit their guilt, claiming that their guilt was not proved in the trial.
Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) detained Rimšēvičs and Martinsons in February 2018. The Prosecutor General’s Office presented Rimšēvičs criminal charges of bribery. Martinson was charged with supporting bribery.
RIMŠĒVIČS IS ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING A BRIBE – A PAID VACATION – AND A BRIBE IN THE FORM OF CASH. HE IS ALSO ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING. RIMŠĒVIČS DENIES HIS GUILT.
The supervisor prosecutor, Viorika Jirgena, previously said that KNAB commenced this criminal procedure following requests from two representatives of Trasta komercbanka (TKB).
Both are bribe givers in the case, but they were relieved of criminal liability because they voluntarily turned to authorities about the crimes in question.
According to information from LETA, the two TKB representatives are the bank’s former board member Viktors Ziemelis and once the bank’s shareholder Igors Buimisters, who has since passed away.
Rimšēvičs was previously applied with security measures, specifically prohibition to approach certain people, such as then an official of the Bank of Latvia and once the chairman of the Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) Irēna Krūmane, as well as Ziemelis and Buimisters.
Jirgena previously said that one of the bank’s shareholders turned to Rimšēvičs in 2010 with a request to settle affairs with FKTK. In exchange he offered Rimšēvičs a paid vacation trip to Kamchatka.
In 2012 this shareholder and one other turned to Rimšēvičs again with a request to assist with other matters associated with FKTK. As payment, then the governor of the Bank of Latvia requested EUR 500 000, to be paid in two parts – one half immediately and the other once FKTK made its decision.
The prosecutor previously reported that after the 2010 deal, Rimšēvičs had provided several consultations to Trasta komercbanka shareholder in an attempt to influence FKTK’s decision. Consultations were provided after the 2012 deal as well. However, even though Rimšēvičs managed to influence FKTK’s decision-making, resulting in decisions that turned out beneficial to Trasta komercbanka, some decisions were not beneficial to the bank.
Because he failed to do what he was asked in full, Rimšēvičs was paid only the first half – EUR 250 000.
According to the prosecutor, Martinsons played the part of the mediator – he was paid 10% of the total amount of the bribe.
Prosecutors requested real prison sentences for Martinsons and Rimšēvičs, as reported by LTV programme De Facto.
A six-year prison sentence with confiscation of property was requested for Rimšēvičs, as well prohibition to take certain posts, the programme was told by prosecutor Ando Skalbe.
For Martinsos prosecutors requested a five-year prison sentence with confiscation of arrested assets. For Martinsons’ company MM investīcijas, which, according to the prosecutor, was used to launder the bribe, a fine of three million euros and confiscation of assets was requested.
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