Former railways boss released on €400,000 bail

The Riga Vidzeme District Court on Thursday decided to release Uģis Magonis, the former head of Latvian national rail company Latvijas Dzelzceļš (LDz) on a bail of €400,000 if he posts the bail within a month, reported LETA newswire. 

Jānis Rozenbergs, one of the lawyers representing Uģis Magonis, said that Uģis Magonis doesn't have enough money, but his family will try procuring the required amount, though it's unlikely to happen within the next few days.

One of Magonis' attorneys Janis Rozenbergs previously said that already after he was detained, Magonis' defense team requested bail be set at €200,000. However, the court did not agree to release Magonis from custody at the time.

In the court session behind closed doors on Thursday Magonis' lawyers upheld the previous position of posting €200,000 bail for Magonis' release, while the Corruption Prevention Bureau maintained that the bail, if any is set, should be at least €1,000,000.

Magonis was detained by the Corruption Prevention Bureau on August 6 and is currently in custody.

Magonis is suspected of accepting a bribe worth nearly €500,000 in connection with a tender for four diesel locomotives organized by the railway company's subsidiary, LDZ Ritosa Sastava Serviss, which was won by Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski's company Skinest.

Magonis was detained close to the Latvian-Estonian border with the money in his car.  

Magonis had been at Latvijas Dzelzcels since 2003 and was last year paid a salary of €100,000.

Unofficial sources testify that Magonis isn't cooperating with the investigation and isn't giving testimony. Jānis Rozenbergs confirmed the latter but denied the former. 

Magonis has attracted the anti-corruption bureau’s attention already in the past. In fall 2010, the anti-corruption bureau launched an inquiry into several large transactions Magonis had declared in his 2009 statement to the State Revenue Service.

It was alleged then that the suspicious transactions might have been used to cover up money laundering operations. The money that had to be laundered through these transactions might have been made using office powers in Latvijas Dzelzcels and its freight carrying subsidiary LDz Cargo.

Commenting the inquiry into his deals, Magonis told BNS then that this was nothing extraordinary and that the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau was only doing its job, but he declined to comment the suspicions of money laundering.

Latvijas Dzelzcels is a state-owned company, involved in freight transportation by rail and the maintenance of infrastructure.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Society
Society