Anti-graft squad won't start case against Agriculture Minister

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The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) won't start a criminal procedure against Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs (Greens and Farmers Union) over allegedly undeclared land property in the Freeport of Riga, KNAB told the press August 8.

KNAB chief Jekabs Straume, who was present at today’s meeting of the parliamentary ad hoc committee probing the so-called “oligarch affair”, declined to mention Duklavs by name, citing legislative restrictions, but informed lawmakers that the anti-corruption bureau’s inquiry into the reports published by the Ir weekly about a public official’s undeclared property at the port had not resulted in a criminal procedure.

As previously reported, Agriculture Minister Duklavs has denied that he indirectly owns an undeclared land property in the territory of the Freeport of Riga as was implied from the leaked transcripts of the “oligarch conversations” that have reportedly taken place at the Ridzene Hotel.

Also at the committee meeting Ilze Kivleniece, head of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau's Investigation Department, told the committee that the bureau had started a new internal investigation to probe the possibility of unlawful receiving of benefits by a public official. It is expected to last about a month.

The committee also ignored the requests by president Raimonds Vejonis and National Alliance MP Ritvars Jansons to elect someone else rather than Inguna Sudraba to chair the committee. 

As previously reported by LSM, there was widespread criticism of the appointment of Sudraba to head the commission given that she was named in the very conversations she would be responsible for investigating.

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