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Former mayor sentenced to four years jail for bribery

Jan 23, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Former Jurmala mayor Raimonds Munkevics has been sentenced four years in jail for bribery.

The other defendant in the case, former Jurmala Emergency Medical Service board member Normunds Pirants was given a three-year jail sentence.

The case comes after Pirants and Munkevics were detained after offering a 5,000 lat bribe in an attempt to defeat an attempt to remove Munkevics from office in a vote of no confidence in 2010.

As a result of the ruling, Munkevics and Pirants both will have their property confiscated, Jurmala court ruled on Jan. 23. According to the verdict, Munkevics and Pirants have also been banned from taking any state or municipal offices for a period of three years.

A full court ruling will be released on Feb. 6, after which the defendants will be able to appeal to the Riga Regional Court within ten days.

Munkevics told reporters after the court sitting that the verdict was  politically motivated and that he would definitely lodge an appeal. Pirants declined to comment.

Prosecutor on the case Velta Zaluksne said she was pleased with the court's ruling, emphasizing that there was no political pressure on the court. She did admit, however, that review of the case had lasted too long.

Previously Zaluksne demanded five years in prison for Munkevics and four years in prison for Pirants.

Zaluksne demanded the same punishment for Munkevics as the one for former Jurmala Mayor Juris Hlevickis in the Jurmala bribery scandal several years ago. Hlevickis was sentenced to five years in prison.

Munkevics and Pirants were arrested in July 2010. Munkevics was released on 50,000 lat bail in August 2010, and Pirants on 40,000 lat bail in September 2010.

Jurmala Court began reviewing the case in November 2011.
 

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