Businessman accused in Rīgas satiksme case turns to European Court of Human Rights

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Lawyer Didzis Vilemsons, representing the businessman Māris Martinsons who has been arrested over the large-scale graft case in the Rīgas satiksme municipal transport company, has turned to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as he thinks Martinsons is being held behind bars unfairly.

The announcement Vilemsons has sent to the press claims that within the 50 days since Martinsons' arrest, neither the accused nor his lawyer have been allowed to acquaint themselves with the exact nature of the accusations and the reasons for keeping Martinons behind bars.

"The accusation has thus far not explained as to how Martinsons could have assisted bribery to an official, because the official who supposedly received the bribe still has not been named," the announcement says.

Vilemsons says that the defendant admits no wrongdoing, saying that the case doesn't hold water. He also claims that the prosecution has not followed protocol in informing either the defendant or their representative about the exact nature of accusations.

Martinsons was detained December 11, 2018 as Latvia's anti-corruption authority, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) sweeped Rīgas satiksme and Rīga City Council offices in a case that centers on bribery in multi-million tenders over delivering buses and trolleys to the Rīga municipality. 

Martinsons is also a suspect in another case being investigated by KNAB, involving allegations that he helped Latvian Central Bank governor Ilmars Rimšēvičs solicit large bribes - a claim denied by Rimšēvičs and yet to come to court.

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