11 Oct 2017 09:49 |Category:  LAT English 1st page news

Prosecutor general expects parliamentary ad hoc committee to identify flaws in investigation of "oligarch case"

RIGA, Oct 11, BNS - Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers expects the parliamentary ad hoc committee probing the so-called “oligarch case” to identify particular flaws in the investigation of the case.

In an interview with LNT commercial TV channel this morning, Kalnmeiers said he expects the ad hoc committee to provide answers as to what evidence the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) has failed to find and what the prosecutors have overlooked.

"I therefore do not want to elaborate on the committee’s work because one of its tasks is to assess the performance of the prosecutor’s office," Kalnmeiers said.

The prosecutor general, however, acknowledged the usefulness of the parliamentary ad hoc committee as it has managed to identify a number of problems that have to be dealt with, such as the need to include the term “capture of state” in the Criminal Law and to improve cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies.

As reported, the Latvian parliament set up an ad hoc committee to probe the so-called oligarch affair, looking for signs of state capture and examining the quality of pre-trial investigation.

The oligarch conversations are a series of transcripts of high-ranking politicians and businessmen's conversations at Ridzene hotel in Riga which have recently been published by the Ir magazine. Those records were one of the main pieces of evidence in a 2011 criminal case on bribery, money laundering, abuse of office and other crimes, implicating a number of high-ranking politicians and public figures, including Andris Skele, Aivars Lembergs, Ainars Slesers and others. The Corruption Prevention Bureau investigated the case for several years, but eventually concluded that the secretly-recorded conversations did not constitute compelling evidence, therefore the criminal case was closed.

BNS, +371 67088611, zinas@bns.lv

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