Anti-graft chief has rough ride in LTV interview

Jaroslavs Streļčenoks, the head of Latvia's anti-corruption agency the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) ran the gauntlet of a live TV interview on national channel LTV1 Tuesday night, garnering a good deal of criticism on social media in the process.

Speaking on the One On One interview show, Streļčenoks said that he would "definitely" put himself forward as a candidate for another term as KNAB chief when his current term expires, despite his failure to quell unrest in the ranks of KNAB officers and his frequent run-ins with politicians.

He laid the blame for a long-running conflict with his former deputy Juta Strike firmly on the shoulders of others, saying "the blame is not mine."

He also said the so-called "Oligarchs' case", involving suspected deals between some of Latvia's highest-profile former and current politicians, was still ongoing despite public frustration that little has been heard about the case in recent years.

"We react to the information we receive... we cannot act on information we don't have. We carry out checks and we will carry out checks," he insisted with regard to looking into the financial affairs of local government and ports, two areas in which their is a popular public perception of significant corruption.

The anti-graft chief also said his officers would soon begin examining the so-called 'Panama Papers' to see if they contained any information relevant to Latvians.

Streļčenoks was appointed to his job for a five-year term in November 2011. The position has always been a controversial one with both his predecessors finding themselves at the center of controversy.  

 

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