Former rail boss faces bribery charge

Latvia's anti-graft police force, the Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau (KNAB) has requested the Prosecutor General's Office to begin prosecuting the former head of Latvian Railways (LDz) Ugis Magonis for accepting a €500,000 bribe

A statement on the KNAB web-site says that the state official accepted a bribe in connection with a tender involving LDz's subsidiary LDz Ritosa Sastava Serviss.

The lead KNAB investigator in the case has requested that Magonis be prosecuted for accepting a large-scale bribe, as well as another individual for giving the bribe to a state official with the aim of achieving a favorable decision.

KNAB is not releasing any further information on this matter at the moment.

As previously reported, KNAB suspects Magonis of accepting a bribe of €500,000  as a kickback so that LDz subsidiary LDz Ritosa Sastava Serviss would purchase four old locomotives for several million euros from the Estonian millionaire Oleg Ossinovski's company Skinest.

Ossinovski denies any corrupt practices in the sale of the locomotives. Magonis was dismissed from his job on August 7 aftre being arrested soon after crossing the border from Estonia and has since been released on bail.

Ossinovski, meanwhile, has been declared a suspect in the case.

While heading the state-owned company, Magonis cultivated an image as a business high flyer with strong links to Russian oligarchs. In one particularly hubristic display to celebrate his 50th birthday, he projected huge images of his own face onto the walls of historic Rundale Palace.

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