Latvian telecoms company Tet (formerly known as Lattelecom) finds itself at the center of controversy after it confirmed on October 25 that charges relating to large-scale fraud have been levelled against both its high-profile chairman and the director of its legal department in connection with a long-running scandal dubbed the "digital TV case"
Juris Gulbis, Chairman of the Board of Tet said: "I categorically and completely reject the accusations, we are ready to defend and substantiate every decision made by the company. Our priority has always been the development of the company in a purely legal way."
The other Tet employee involved in the legal moves is Toms Meisītis, director of legal and corporate affairs. A company statement said the pair would continue in their current positions despite the ongoing legal action.
"Tet's shareholders, the supervisory board and the board of directors take the situation extremely seriously and will take all necessary steps to clarify the circumstances of the case. Until all the circumstances of the case are fully clarified, both employees shall continue to perform their duties and positions, as well as maintain the trust of the council," the statement said.
Gatis Kokins, Chairman of the Tet Council said: "The Company's Council and shareholders have been informed of the situation since the allegations were made... In the meantime, the company's management and staff maintain the confidence of the board to ensure the successful operation and continuity of the Tet Group's companies during these stressful times."
According to publicly available information, the charges relate to a tender for the introduction of digital terrestrial television programs 12 years ago. Following the results of a competition organized by the Ministry of Transport in 2008, the Cabinet of Ministers approved SIA Lattelecom at the beginning of 2009 as the implementer of digital television broadcasting in Latvia. The project was completed at the end of 2013.
Prosecutors believe the circumstances of the case resulted in losses of around 7.5 million euros.
"The company's representatives will continue to provide all necessary information to law enforcement authorities." Tet said.
The Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs responded October 26 by questioning the decision of the Tet to allow Gulbis to remain in post pending further developments after it emerged Tet had hired an unnamed international legal company to evaluate the level of Gulbis' liability, with its report due in December. Doing so called the work of Latvia's law enforcement agencies into question, Vitenbergs told LTV.
Gulbis is one of Latvia's highest-profile and best-paid businessmen and in 2015 also became known for his vociferous objections to making the country's highest earners pay a so-called "solidarity tax".
Seen a mistake?
Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor
Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor