Anti-graft squad sacks four high standing officials

Take note – story published 7 years ago

Jaroslavs Streļčenoks, head of the Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), has fired Juris Jurašs, the head of the Division of Criminal Intelligence Process at the anti-graft force, effective August 15. Jurašs was one of the most vocal critics of Streļčenoks' leadership.

A decree signed by Streļčenoks states that Jurašs isn't qualified for any of the new positions and vacancies established after the bureau underwent organizational changes.

Jurašs has been working at KNAB since 2003, heading the Division of Criminal Intelligence Process since 2005.

Jurašs told LETA newswire that the decision was predictable, however he has every intention of turning to court over the matter.

KNAB told Latvian Television Tuesday evening that four employees have been sacked and sixteen have been offered different posts since the restructuring.

Among the people to be fired from the anti-corruption force are Jurašs' deputy Mārtiņš Lode and head of Investigations Department Lienīte Šikore.

The move has been criticized by the Union of Bureau Officials and Employees, with board member Juris Pujāts saying that Streļčenoks is chasing not after corruption but rather bureau employees.

While a representative of PM Māris Kučinskis' said that the Prime Minister will not comment on the inner workings of KNAB, leaving the decision at the bureau manager's discretion.

KNAB has a long history of employees and former employees turning to court against the bureau. 

On Friday Streļčenoks fired his long-standing deputy Juta Strīķe, who is to be removed from office for alleged absence from work in late 2015 and early this year.

Streļčenoks has attempted firing her four times in the last two years, but Strīķe has always been reinstated, last time by a court ruling. 

His term as head of KNAB is due to run out, with his replacement to be chosen by competition. 

Speaking on the One On One interview show in April, 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.

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