Rimšēvičs case: defendant agrees to testify

One of the accused in a criminal case in which Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has been charged with taking bribes, has begun to testify, reported the LETA news service December 14, citing information from the Prosecutor General's office.

Two persons have been charged in the case: central bank governor Rimšēvičs and businessman Maris Martinsons, but the prosecutor's office declined to reveal which one of them had agreed to testify.

Rimšēvičs has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case, which has caused headlines all around the world. He has also refused to step down from the job he has held since 2001.

According to prosecutor Viorika Jirgena, pretrial investigations in the case are continuing, as the prosecutor office's press secretary Aiga Eiduka told LETA.

The unnamed defendant originally decided not to testify when the case was being investigated by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB). Now he has decided to change his tactics and is cooperating with the investigators, she explained.

As reported, the prosecutor's office in the summer charged Rimšēvičs with soliciting a bribe or bribes worth more than 100,000 euros and Martinsons with aiding and abetting the bribery.

As previously reported by LSM, Martinsons was also detained by anti-corruption officers earlier this week, though apparently in connection with a different case.

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