Saeima postpones decision on allowing charges against MP Jurašs

The Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee on January 24 decided to delay the decision on whether or not to allow MP Juris Jurašs (New Conservative Party, JKP) to be handed over for criminal prosecution.

Jurašs as well as MP Andrejs Judins (New Unity) attended the meeting, with Judins saying that he wishes to get acquainted with the case materials in more detail.

Judins believes that an MP cannot be given out for prosecution if it is politically motivated.

Committee MPs agreed to continue looking into this matter on January 24, as well as next week.

As reported, the Prosecutor General’s Office has sent documents to the Saeima, asking to allow criminal prosecution against Saeima defense, interior affairs and corruption prevention committee chairman Juris Jurašs for disclosing state secrets, said Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers in an interview with commercial LNT television on January 22.

Kalnmeiers said that the Prosecutor General’s Office is confident a criminal prosecution should be launched against Jurašs.

The case initiated following Jurašs remarks was closed on September 11, 2018 as there were no indications of crime, according to KNAB.

In response, Jurašs said earlier that this had been expected because the investigation was delayed, and of a formal character.

Meanwhile LTV's De Facto has acquired court materials that show the source of Jurašs' accusations; Harmony MP Andrejs Elksniņš was likewise mentioned in the case. 

As reported, Jurašs, who was fired from his job by the Corruption Prevention Bureau's chief Jaroslavs Streļčenoks, said in an interview with Ir magazine that he had been offered a €1 million bribe in return for changing the charges brought against former head of Latvian Railways (LDz) Uģis Magonis - from bribery to trading in influence, which carries a much lighter sentence.

The Corruption Prevention Bureau later said that Jurašs had said too much and therefore significantly impeded the bureau's investigation into his allegations. The Security Police started a probe against Jurašs for public disclosure of classified information.

It has also been reported, Corruption Prevention Bureau officers detained Magonis in the summer of 2015. He is suspected of accepting a €500,000 bribe from Estonian millionaire Oleg Ossinovski so that Latvijas Dzelzceļš subsidiary LDz Ritosa Sastava Serviss would purchase four old locomotives for several million euros from Ossinovski's company Skinest.

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