Court rules to leave Bunkus murder suspect Ulmans in detention

  • 2022-06-13
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Riga Regional Court on Monday ruled to leave businessman Mihails Ulmans, a suspect in the murder case of insolvency lawyer Martins Bunkus, in detention, LETA was told at the court. 

This Thursday, June 16, the court is scheduled to decide on an appeal lodged by businessman Aleksandrs Babenko against his detention. Babenko is also in custody in connection with the Bunkus murder case. 

As reported, at the end of May, Riga City Vidzeme District Court ruled to remand Ulmans, Babenko and one more suspect in custody. The businessmen appealed their detention to Riga Regional Court.

The third suspected detained in this case has not appealed his detention.

On May 24, the State Police announced that they had managed to establish practically all persons involved in the murder of Bunkus, including the hitman who shot and killed the lawyer and the person who ordered the murder. The hitman and the person who ordered the murder were among several persons taken under arrest on May 24.

The case has been requalified to a criminal case on a murder committed in especially aggravating circumstances if it has been committed by an organized group. Such a crime carries a life sentence or 15-20 years in jail.

Bunkus' family members earlier had mentioned Ulmans' name in relation to the murder. In 2016 he had an argument with Bunkus in the case of Rego Trade insolvency case.

Rego Trade food wholesaler was declared insolvent in spring 2008. Bunkus as the insolvency administrator established that the former board members - Mihails Ulmans, Aleksandrs Budovskis and Dans Vapne - had embezzled the company's assets prior to insolvency and turned to the court to recover the money.

In 2012 the Latvian Supreme Court satisfied the insolvency administrator's claim and ruled that Ulmans had to pay back to the company LVL 265,626 (EUR 377,952). Rego Trade still has the rights of claim against Budovskis for EUR 192,055 and against Vapne for EUR 204,145, and Bunkus planned to sell those rights of claim at the auctions on May 30 but cancelled the auctions at the last moment on May 29, just a day before he was killed.

LETA also reported, Bunkus was shot while driving his vehicle on the morning of May 30, 2018, when he drove past the Riga Forest Cemetery.