Former Rīga mayor Ušakovs' MEP immunity waived

A majority of MEPs have supported the waiving of the European parliamentary immunity of former Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony party), Latvian Radio reported November 11.

MEPs voted by a show of hands so the exact number of for and against is unknown, but the majority was obvious. The Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee had previously proposed that Nils Ušakovs' parliamentary immunity be waived after a request by the Latvian Prosecutor's Office.

The Prosecutor's Office of Latvia had asked the EP to consider waiving Ušakovs' immunity since the Corruption  Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) had allegedly found that Ušakovs kept a hidden video recorder in his mayor's office.

In January 2019, KNAB removed a device from Ušakovs' office in Riga City Council. In October 2020 KNAB asked the Prosecutor General's Office to charge the former mayor of Riga of storing the banned video surveillance device. Ušakovs has so far maintained his innocence.

The final decision on the waiver of Ušakovs' parliamentary immunity was in the hands of the European Parliament. Most of Latvia's elected MEPs pledged to support the waiving of immunity for Ušakovs.

After the waiving of his immunity, Ušakovs retains his parliamentary status. He is chairman of the Harmony political party and part of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

 

 

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