Corruption watchdog accuses ex-governor of the Bank of Latvia of coercing others into giving false testimony

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has requested the office of the prosecutor to commence criminal prosecution of ex-governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs for attempts to secure false testimony.
In a statement to the press, KNAB explains having requested the office of the prosecutor to prosecute one private person for possible attempts to organize false testimony and one other person for possible forcing of someone else to provide false testimony.
KNAB commenced the criminal procedure 14 June 2021.
Evidence acquired in the pre-trial investigation reveals that one private person, based on another private person’s directions, may have committed coercion of another person into giving a false testimony. One person made numerous attempts to force another person drop their previous testimony and replace it with a new testimony that is beneficial to the person on trial. The witness in question was offered monetary reward in exchange for a false testimony.
The case involving attempted bribery of a witness is already on trial. The pre-trial investigation in this case was successfully completed 18 June 2018. Criminal prosecution is requested of two people: ex-governor of the Bank of Latvia and a private person, as confirmed by KNAB.
«Coercion of a witness into giving false testimony in exchange for monetary gain is categorically prohibited. Crimes like that impede the work of authorities and make it harder to call the guilty parties to justice,» says vice-chief of KNAB for investigation affairs Ineta Cīrule.
As previously reported, 20 August KNAB performed a search at Rimšēvičs’ home. His lawyer, Normunds Duļevskis, previously said the criminal procedure was commenced over suspicions of Rimšēvičs and another person, who was named U.T. [Uģis Tabors] by the lawyer, may have met and discussed ways to have former shareholder of Trasta komercbanka Igors Buimisters to drop his previous testimony and testify again – in Rimšēvičs’ favour.
Buimisters was one of the main witnesses for the prosecution. Recently, however, Buimisters passed away.
Duļevskis claims Buimisters made multiple attempts to contact Rimšēvičs and provoke him. Rimšēvičs, on the other hand, «is fully aware no one is allowed to pay to withdraw intentionally false testimony and testify the truth». This is why these provocations have failed, claims the defence attorney.
As previously reported, in February 2018 KNAB detained Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons.
Rimšēvič is accused of bribery, and Martinsons – of supporting the act of bribery.
The supervisory prosecutor over this case Viorika Jirgena previously said KNAB had commenced this case following two representatives of Trasta komercbanka. Both of them were previously suspects in the case, but they were relieved of criminal liability because they admitted their guilt and were the ones who voluntarily reported information about the crime in question. According to information from LETA, they are Viktors Ziemelis and Igors Buimisters.
Jirgena previously said one of the shareholders of Trasta komercbanka had turned to Rimšēvičs in 2010 with a request to assist with the Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK). In exchange for assistance, he offered Rimšēvičs a paid trip to Kamchatka. In 2012 the same shareholder and another one had turned to Rimšēvičs again with a request to deal with FKTK again. As payment, Rimšēvičs requested EUR 500 000 to be paid in to instances – half in advance and the other hand once FKTK has made the «right» decision.
The prosecutor had previously stressed that after the 2010 deal, Rimšēvičs had provided several consultations to Trasta komercbanka shareholder in an attempt to influence FKTK’s decision. Consultations were provided after the 2012 deal as well. However, even though Rimšēvičs managed to influence FKTK’s decision-making, resulting in decisions that turned out beneficial to Trasta komercbanka, there were also decisions that were not beneficial to the bank.
Jirgena also explained that Rimšēvičs was paid only EUR 250 000.
According to the prosecutor, Martinsons played the part of the mediator – he was paid 10% of the total amount of the bribe.
The prosecutor adds that bribery was committed using cash.