Court finds Skinest Rail not responsible in case of giving EUR 500,000 euros to former head of Latvijas Dzelzcels

  • 2024-03-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - On March 26, the Vidzeme District Court in Cesis terminated the proceedings on execution of coercive measures on the Estonian company Skinest Rail in the case of giving EUR 500,000 to the former head of Latvijas Dzelzcels, Ugis Magonis, the court confirmed to LETA.

The court concluded that in 2015, Skinest Rail was the only bidder in a tender organized by LDZ Ritosa Sastava Serviss for the purchase of four used diesel locomotives. The company was interested in buying these locomotives and there was no other company that could supply them, as confirmed by all witnesses in the case.

The court concluded that the sale price of the four second-hand diesel locomotives was in line with their market value or even lower. The conditions set by LDZ Ritosa Sastava Serviss did not give rise to the presumption that Skinest Rail would have made a large profit from the transaction, which would have exceeded by a considerable margin the amount of money alleged in the indictment, the receipt of which Magonis was accused of having received. Consequently, any link between the money received by Magonis and the interests of Skinest Rail was not established, the court said.

Thus, there was no explanation as to why, in the situation described, there was a need to promise Magonis a material benefit in order to ensure that Skinest Rail would be able to sell four second-hand diesel locomotives to the Latvian company. Thus, first instance court did not agree with the General Prosecutor's Office's accusations against the company.

The decision of the court can still be appealed.

As previously reported, on January 21, 2021, the Vidzeme District Court in Limbazi acquitted Magonis and Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski of bribery charges, finding the charges against them to be unfounded.

The verdict was appealed and is now being reviewed by the Riga Regional Court.

The prosecution alleged that in the summer of 2015, Magonis was given money to facilitate the purchase of four diesel locomotives by LDz Ritosa Sastava Serviss, a subsidiary of Latvijas Dzelzcels, from Skinest Rail, owned by Ossinovski.