Anti-graft squad hands judge bribery case to prosecution

The Corruption Prevention Bureau has turned to the Prosecutor General's Office asking that criminal proceedings be started against Iveta Bērziņa, a Riga Regional Court judge, and a businessman over suspected bribery, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Monday.

KNAB said that the businessman, whose companies were involved in several court cases, gave a number of bribes to the judge. It was discovered during the criminal proceedings that the judge had accepted bribes adding up to €45,000 in total.

LETA reported that the person suspected of bribe giving is the Afghan-Latvian businessman Gulams Gulami.

The criminal case was opened in October 2014, and Latvian Television (LTV) reported previously that the judge's office was searched. She was detained and suspended from her post.

LTV, referring to sources it has obtained, floated the possibility that the raid could have something to do with the ownership takeover case of Old Town hotel Royal Square Hotel, where Latvian citizen of Afghan descent Gulam Mohamed Gulami is named as a suspect.

The judge has previously ruled on cases such as former general director Jānis Motte at the State Real Estate Property Agency, as well as a case held against former Parex Bank owners Viktors Krasovickis and Georgijs Krasovickis over a donation contract annulment request and a case in Jurmala against its former mayor Juris Hlevickis.

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