Politician and former anti-graft official Strīķe passes away

On March 18, Juta Strīķe, a politician and former high-profile anti-corruption official died after an illness, the LETA news agency reported.

Strīķe was the head of the Saeima Legal Affairs Committee but was best known publicly for her work as the deputy head of Latvia's anti-graft office, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB).

The news was confirmed by New Conservative Party leader, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns, who offered condolences to Strīķe's family.

"We haven't seen a more patriotic individual than she was. She was loved by everyone who knew her," said Bordāns. 

Bordāns said that her death was not related to the new coronavirus.

Strīķe, born 1970, first started public service in 1995 as part of the Security Police, the country's interior police force. In 2000 she became head of the anti-corruption department at the institution.

According to LETA archives, in September 2003 Strīķe was picked by a committee to head the KNAB, but her candidacy was eventually rejected by the parliament. Einārs Repše, who was then Prime Minister, did, however, appoint her deputy head of the anti-graft force. 

After drawn-out infighting at KNAB she left the service in 2016, having become one of the best-known public officials in Latvia known for her uncompromising stance against corruption. Strīķe then went on to pursue a career in politics.

In 2017 she was elected as a Rīga councilor on the New Conservative Party ticket, while a year later she was elected as an MP in the 13th Saeima on the ticket of the same party. As a deputy, Strīķe was head of the Legal Affairs Committee.

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