Saeima deputy likely to have parliamentary immunity lifted

On Tuesday, the Saeima's Committee on Mandates, Ethics and Submissions supported a proposal to lift the parliamentary immunity of the Chairman of the Budget and Finance (Tax) Committee, Mārtiņš Bondars (For Development / For!) which potentially opens the way for criminal charges to be brought against him

The request was made by the Prosecutor's Office. However, a full Saeima meeting will have to approve the decision before Bondars' parliamentary immunity is lifted. 

At the commission meeting Tuesday morning, Bondars maintained that he was not guilty of any crime, and had not done anything wrong or broken the law. At the same time, he said he would not oppose the lifting of his parliamentary immunity.

The Rules of Procedure of the Saeima stipulate that the Saeima must give its consent before a criminal prosecution can be brought against a deputy.

It was stated at the hearing that the case concerned the property of the Bondars family and agreements concluded between them. Bondars, formerly a prominent banker before embarking on a political career, said it was an "old case involving me." He is due to hold a press conference on the matter later on Tuesday. 

LTV reported that the request for extradition was related to an investigation in which the State Police had been trying to find out whether an agreement between Bondars and his wife was suspect. The agreement guaranteed that the politician could not be deprived of his family home in a case linked to the collapse of bank "Latvijas krājbanka", of which he was the chairman.

The information available to LTV shows that Bondars plans to announce his resignation from the position of the head of the Budget and Finance (Tax) Committee of the Saeima and will not run for office in the next Saeima elections.

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