Anti-graft agency row reignites

The head of the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) Jaroslavs Strelcenoks has officially filed with the Constitutional Protection Bureau (SAB) for having the agency's now demoted, but still feisty former deputy chief Juta Strike's national security clearance revoked, he told independent commerial television LNT news program 900 sekundes Wednesday.

“Given what the agency knows about Ms.Strike’s violations in connection with protecting state secrets, and also in light of the fact that her actions do not facilitate and in fact hinder the protection of state secrets, we asked SAB yesterday to assess this information and annul or reduce the amount of access she has to national security information,” he said.

On her part Strike believes the petition to revoke her national security clearance is pointless. She said it was Strelcenoks’ attempt to justify his “ineffective term as leader of the KNAB.”

“Nobody can forbid a person to sign papers and send them around to various departments. This is doubtless another smear campaign by Strelcenoks and may be used in the ongoing court cases,” she said, referring to her appeals against a demotion and attempted sacking, which her labor union did not accept, thus prompting the order to fire her to be handed in to the court for a final ruling.

Strelcenoks himself is in the hot seat with Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, who has initiated an official job evaluation on his term as chief of the anti-corruption agency. However, Strelcenoks has asked for an extension on submitting his self-evaluation and objected to the make-up of the commission appointed for his assessment.

Public policy NGOs Delna (Latvia’s branch of Transparency International) and investigative think-tank Providus have also been strongly critical of Strelcenoks’ performance at the helm of the troubled agency.

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Politics
Politics