Latvian central banker can nominate stand-in for European Central Bank

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Latvia's central bank governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, who is currently facing charges of soliciting a bribe, can nominate a replacement to carry out his duties at the European Central Bank, the LETA newswire reported July 31.

Rimšēvičs has protested his innocence since he was implicated and arrested by officers in February, but restrictions placed upon his movements have prevented him travelling to Frankfurt for ECB governing council meetings. A representative of the Latvian central bank has attended the meetings in his absence, but did not have the power to participate in decision-making.

"The security measures have not been overturned, the prosecutor's office has specified the measures by giving Rimšēvičs the opportunity to appoint a proxy to work on the ECB Council for him," said Aiga Eiduka of the Latvian prosecutor general's office.

The EU Court of Justice has reviewed a petition from the ECB seeking a temporary solution, so the Latvian authorities would permit Rimšēvičs to perform his duties on the ECB Council, or let him appoint a proxy to work on the ECB Council in his place.

As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau has started a criminal proceeding against Rimšēvičs, who is suspected of having solicited and accepted a bribe of at least 100,000 euros. Rimšēvičs insists he is innocent and therefore will not step down as the head of the Latvian central bank, a position he has held since 2001.

Rimsevics has also lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice over the restrictions that prevent him from performing the duties of a member of the European Central Bank's Council. He claims the restrictions had been imposed on him unlawfully.

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