Former Justice Minister denies bribery, suspends party activities

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Rīga city councillor and former Justice Minister Baiba Broka denied accusations of taking a bribe July 12, reported LSM's Latvian language service.

At a press conference, Broka told journalists she would suspend her activities as a member of the right-of-center National Alliance political grouping while an investigation into bribery is ongoing, but that she would not resign as a member of the city council.

Broka read out a statement saying she had not taken a bribe in connection with another position she holds as member of the University of Latvia's procurement commission and then promptly left the press conference without taking questions, leaving her lawyers to add that they would appeal against restrictions placed upon her movements in connection with the ongoing investigation by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB).

As previously reported by LSM, she was detained and released earlier this week, along with two high-profile businessmen, following a KNAB search of her office at the University of Latvia.

Investigators believe a bribe of at least 20,000 euros may have changed hands, possibly via the Latvian Biathlon Federation which Broka also chairs.

She said Friday she had never received money from the Biathlon Federation and said many politicians stood on the boards of sports bodies.

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