€200,000 bail posted for former head of Rīgas Satiksme

The Rīga City Vidzeme District Court on February 15 received information that the €200,000 bail it had set for the release of Leons Bemhens, the former head of Rīgas Satiksme municipal transport company who has been arrested in connection with an ongoing probe into alleged corruption in the company, has been posted, according to LETA’s sources.

As reported, the court decided on February 14 that Bemhens can be released on bail. However, the former Rīgas Satiksme CEO will be able walk free after the prison receives documents from the court confirming that the bail has been paid to the Treasury.

Earlier, Igors Volkinšteins, a Rīga City Council official also detained in the case, was freed on €100,000 bail. Meanwhile €70,000 bail was set for Edgars Teterovskis, an entrepreneur also involved in the case. 

It emerged later on February 15 that bail has been posted for Teterovskis as well. 

Bemhens was absent from the court and participated in yesterday’s hearing via a video conference from the prison hospital in Olaine.

As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau has started a criminal case on three procurement tenders organized by Rīgas Satiksme: 2016 tender to buy low-floor trams for a total of €62,597,477, 2013 tender to buy trolley-buses for a total of €131,646,135, and one more 2013 tender to buy buses worth €75,808,297. The criminal procedure investigates bribery and money laundering in relation to these procurement tenders.

In early December 2018, the Riga City Vidzeme District Court decided to leave six of the seven suspects in the case in custody - businessman and member of Honor to Serve Riga party Aleksandrs Krjaceks, former Rigas Satiksme's Infrastructure Maintenance and Development Department head Igors Volkinšteins, former Rīgas Satiksme board chairman Leons Bemhems, Škoda Transportation manager Vladislav Kozak, businessman Māris Martinsons - who is also implicated in other criminal cases, and businessman Edgars Teterovskis.

Rīgas Satiksme board stepped down after the investigation started. Riga Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Riga) stepped down as well. Searches have been conducted in Ameriks’ place of residence, and later also in the office and place of residence of Rīgas Mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony).

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