Corruption trial against Latvia's chief banker begins

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 5, 2019
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RIGA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A district court in Latvia's seaside city of Jurmala on Monday started hearing a corruption case against Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmars Rimsevics who stands accused of graft and money laundering, local media reported.

Standing trial along with Rimsevics is businessman Maris Martinsons who has been charged with aiding and abetting bribery.

While talking to reporters ahead of the court hearing, Rimsevics denied the accusations against him and voiced hope that the trial could be completed as quickly as possible.

Rimsevics' defense lawyer Martins Kveps argued in court that his client is not only the head of the Latvian central bank but also a member of the European Central Bank's policy-making body and therefore should have immunity from prosecution.

The lawyer also mentioned the European Court of Justice's ruling that reinstated Rimsevics as Bank of Latvia governor after he was banned from holding the office in light of the serious charges brought against him in Latvia.

To sort out these questions, the judge adjourned the hearing until Dec. 20.

The Latvian anti-graft authority, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, probed Rimsevics for accepting a bribe from shareholders of Latvia's Trasta Bank, which is currently in the process of liquidation.

The bureau had been investigating the case for more than a year. Enditem

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