Changes in work organisation at anti-corruption office may be discussed - Latvian PM

  • 2016-11-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia's ruling coalition may talk over the need for legislative amendments concerning work organisation at the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) but there are multiple options for addressing the situation at the KNAB, said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers).

On Monday Kucinskis declined to give specifics regarding possible changes in the anti-corruption office as the report written by the State Chancellery with suggestions for handling the situation at the KNAB has been designated as confidential.

The prime minister said he would ask the State Chancellery to de-classify the report but it could only be done next week as Maris Krievins, the leader of the State Chancellery, was currently abroad. The decision to lift the confidentiality status on the document must be made by the State Chancellery as it was the authority that marked the report as confidential to begin with.

Kucinskis said that he planned to discuss the State Chancellery's suggestions for reform in the KNAB with Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers in addition to Janis Maizitis, the chief of the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) or the top national security agency in Latvia, and Normunds Mezviets, the Security Police head. After the report has been partially or fully de-classified, there would be no barriers to public discussion of the propositions, Kucinskis stated.

He also said that a repeated tender to choose the next chief of the KNAB could not be arranged immediately but the tender would be held after a solution to the situation in the anti-corruption office had been chosen.

At the request of the prime minister, Krievins on Nov. 11 submitted to Kucinskis a report with suggestions for reforming the KNAB.

None of the 10 candidates competing for the position of the KNAB chief was chosen for the second round of the tender, meaning that the tender was terminated without a result. Present KNAB head Jaroslavs Strelcenoks, whose term in office will end on Nov. 17, was among the candidates that were rejected by the commission tasked with locating a new KNAB head. Additionally, over the past two years the KNAB has been shaken by internal disputes between Strelcenoks and other high-ranking employees.