Latvian KNAB to look into Saeima deputies’ “all expenses paid” visit to China

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) will look into the recent visit made by multiple Saeima deputies to China, as reported by LTV programme Panorāma.
Currently multiple members of the Latvian Saeima who are also members of the committee that cooperates with the Chinese parliament are away on an official visit to China. The leader of the group – Ainārs Šlesers – has made a public statement that the trip is paid for by the Chinese government.

“All of the costs of the Latvian delegation are covered by the Chinese government. It will cost Latvian taxpayers 0 euros!”

This post appeared on Šlesers’ X (formerly Twitter) account along with a photo of the group of Saeima deputies together with representatives of the Chinese National People’s Congress and on excursions. One of the videos posted by the Saeima deputy shows a foot massage.
The Saeima deputies group that is away in China includes the following members: the group’s leader Ainārs Šlesers (LPV) and Ričards Šlesers (LPV), Kristaps Krištopans (LPV), Ramona Petraviča (LPV), Linda Liepiņa (LPV), Viktorija Pleškāne (For Stability), and two members of the National Alliance – Aleksandrs Kiršteins and Edmunds Teirumnieks.
Screenshot from Ainārs Šlesers’ X accountLTV found out that despite Šlesers’ public statements, this is not an official visit, because no application for one was submitted to the Saeima Praesidium.
Saeima Vice-Speaker Jānis Grasbergs (NA) told Panorāma programme that the parliament will not be able to satisfy Šlesers’ request to excuse his group’s absence due to the trip to China. Factions will need to submit separate requests. It is possible the National Alliance will not support one of its member’s visit to China.
Grasbergs added that the National Alliance will likely have to submit an unpaid vacation request.
KNAB, on the other hand, has announced that “in response to the information regarding the visit of multiple Saeima deputies to China, KNAB will perform and in-depth assessment of this information”.
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