Former insolvency business high-flier Spruds granted bail

Riga Vidzeme District Court on Wednesday decided to release former insolvency administrator Maris Spruds on bail of 500,000 euros giving him a month to secure the bail. Meanwhile he remains in custody.

Commenting on the sum of the bail, Spruds said after the court sitting that he has to try to find it. Spruds’ lawyer Janis Rozenbergs said that Spruds’ own assets are listed on his official income statement, and most of his assets are frozen, therefore he will have to find assistance from other people.

"I think it will not be easy to find the person who wants to pay this amount now, but we will do our best to make it possible in the near future. After the security deposit, we must submit both a certificate of payment and a statement of the originator of the contribution from the contributor, and only then will the court decide on release from custody," explained the lawyer.

The sum is one of the largest bail amounts ever set, exceeded only by the bail set in the case of another business superstar-turned-defendant Ugis Magonis, former board chairman of Latvijas Dzelzcels railway company who was released on bail of 400,000 euros in 2015. His trial continues.

Bail equivalent to more than 1 million euros was set in the everlasting trial of oligarch Aivars Lembergs, but after legal wrangles the requirement for bail was dropped and Lembergs remains at liberty and on trial after nearly a decade of courtroom proceedings. 

Spruds has been in custody since June 2017.

As reported, recently the prosecutor's office charged Spruds with extortion and money laundering. Spruds' attorney Sandra Sleja told LETA earlier that Spruds continues to plead not guilty.

The prosecutor's office filed charges against Spruds and five more persons, including financier Jorens Raitums and former insolvency administrator Ilmars Krums. Latvian public television also reported that the other suspects in the case were businessmen Martins Krums and Guntars Slisans, as well as Timothy Kelley, a citizen of Ireland.

The State Police said in a statement to the press that two insolvency administrators overseeing liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka in 2016 joined up with another four persons to run an extortion scheme. Earlier this month, Latvian Television reported that Spruds and the other insolvency administrator, Ilmars Krums had threatened to seize Trasta Komercbanka creditors' money.

In June 2017 the State Police carried out 16 searches, seizing a number of important documents and arresting several properties, luxury automobiles, and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

Six persons were detained in the case, of which only one, Spruds, is still in custody.

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