Fugitive goes back on the run in Cyprus

In a move notable chiefly for its utter predictability, a fugitive wanted by Latvia for involvement in a politically-connected bribery case has gone back on the run after being given the chance to do so, the LETA news agency reported September 11.

The Latvian prosecutor’s office has received information from Cyprus that businessman Germans Miluss, convicted in Latvia in connection with bribery in 2005 local elections in Jurmala, and was later detained in Cyprus, has not arrived at a court hearing and has been made subject of a search.

The Latvian prosecutor’s office received information from the Cypriot police that Miluss was not present at the court sitting on September 5, therefore a national arrest warrant has been drawn and he has been put on the wanted persons list, said prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Una Reke. It means that Miluss now is both on Cypriot national search and international search.

Miluss’ lawyer in Latvia Jelena Kvjatkovska told LETA that Miluss has a different attorney in Cyprus and all questions should be addressed to that lawyer.

LETA has not yet managed to contact the lawyer in Cyprus as he does not respond to phone calls, SMSs and e-mails.

Miluss, 54, who had been on the international wanted persons list since April 2007, was detained at Larnaca Airport on August 3. He arrived in Cyprus from Moscow and had a Russian passport.

Earlier, Latvian media reported that, after fleeing Latvia, Miluss settled down in Russia, and assumed Russian citizenship.

In 2007, Zemgale Regional Court found car dealer Miluss, former Jurmala mayor Juris Hlevickis and candidate councilor Gvido Harijs Volburgs guilty of attempted bribery. The above persons had tried to bribe Jurmala City Council member Ilmars Ancans in order to secure his vote in Hlevickis' favor in Jurmala's local elections.

Hlevickis and Miluss were sentenced to five years behind bars and Volburgs received a three-year suspended prison term. Miluss was absent from his sentencing in court, and his whereabouts remained unknown until he was detained in Cyprus.

The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office on August 24 sent to Cyprus the information requested by the Cypriot authorities so that they could decide on the request for extradition of Miluss.

At its previous sitting on August 22 the Cypriot court asked the Latvian prosecutor's office for information about possible violations of Miluss' rights. Kvjatkovska said that the court had several significant questions to Latvia related with alleged violations of Miluss' rights when hearing his case at first instance court, and actions of other courts, hearing his case without his presence.

The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office on August 8 had sent documents to the Cypriot Justice Ministry asking that Miluss be extradited to Latvia.

The court continued hearing Latvia's request for extradition of Miluss on August 31, but took no decision then and the next court sitting was scheduled for September 5. Miluss was present at the court sitting.

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