Latvia agrees anti-corruption roadmap for next two years

On Tuesday, April 28, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supported the action plan developed by the Ministry of Justice and other responsible institutions to implement anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures recommended by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns highlighted that the next Prosecutor General will play an important role in implementing the recommendations of the OECD Anti-Corruption Working Group.

“Latvia has agreed its roadmap for the next two years to ensure the implementation of the recommendations and strengthen the rule of law, promote economic growth, ensure a transparent decision-making process and a stable legal environment," said Bordāns.

"The plan is mainly focused on detecting criminal offenses related to cross-border bribery schemes or money laundering. The Prosecutor General's Office, and, of course, the next Prosecutor General, will play a strategic role in implementing these recommendations," Bordāns said, adding that as a consequence the next Prosecutor General should be someone who is "suited to this task".

In October last year, the OECD Working Party on Combating Bribery issued 44 recommendations to Latvia, setting out practical measures aimed at more effective detection, investigation and prosecution of bribery, money laundering and related crimes involving corruption.

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The action plan covers numerous things, from extra training for judges, prosecutors and investigators to the development of policies that will punish bribery more severely and provide a stronger reason not to risk offering or accepting backhanders.

One of the main changes will be the establishment of a specialized court for economic crimes to speed up the processing of money-laundering and similar cases with specially trained court staff. The new court is due to commence operations on January 1 next year. In October 2021, Latvia is due to submit a report on the implementation of the recommendations.

More details of the plan are available at the website of the Cabinet of Ministers (in Latvian).

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