Businessman sentenced to three years for offering bribe to Jurašs

Responding to the prosecution’s protest, Riga Regional Court last week sentenced businessman Valērijs Vasiļjevs to three years in jail for offering a bribe to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau's (KNAB) former officer Juris Jurašs (pictured above), the LETA newswire said April 8.

The regional court overruled the Riga City Vidzeme District Court’s decision, delivered in May 2016, to give Vasiljevs a suspended three-year sentence and three years and six months under probation, the prosecutor’s office informed LETA.

Vasiļjevs was tried for offering Jurašs a bribe of LVL 50,000 (€71,000), of which LV 10,000 (€14,000) he actually gave Jurašs to stop law enforcement authorities from continuing two criminal investigations. One of the investigations was led by KNAB and the other one by the the Specialized Prosecution Office for Organized Crime and Other Branches. The businessman was detained in January 2006 when he handed a part of the bribe to KNAB officer Jurašs.

Vasiļjevs is accused of organizing large illegal oil product deals. He had been selling large amounts of fuel of unknown origin to filling stations through wholesale firms. The businessman installed his people as managers of these firms and paid them to withdraw large sums of money from banks for him.

The regional court’s ruling can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Jurašs is currently the Justice Ministry’s parliamentary secretary.

In a separate case, as previously reported, Jurašs has been charged with leaking state secrets after he blew the whistle on what he says was an attempt to bribe him in a high-profile case. 

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