ECHR throws out former Bank of Latvia governor's case against Latvia

  • 2023-11-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has decided to close former Bank of Latvia governor Ilmars Rinsevics' case against Latvia, which the applicant accused of breaching the presumption of his innocence. 

As LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry, in the summer of 2018, Rimsevics filed a lawsuit with the ECHR, complaining that several high-ranked public officials violated the principle of the presumption of innocence by publicly commenting on a criminal probe the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) had started against the Latvian central bank's former head, thereby breaching the European Convention on Human Rights. 

KNAB opened the criminal investigation against Rimsevics in 2018 on suspicions of large-scale graft. That case is currently heard in a Latvian court of first instance. 

In February 2018, KNAB detained Rimsevics and construction contractor Maris Martinsons. The Prosecutor General's Office charged Rimsevics with graft and Martinsons with aiding and abetting graft.

Rimsevics was accused of accepting a paid holiday trip and money as bribes. He was also charged with money laundering. Rimsevics, however, has never admitted to the charges levied against him.

The supervising prosecutor in the case said earlier that KNAB opened the case based on an application submitted by two representatives of Trasta Komercbanka. Both of them feature as bribe-payers in the case, but have been released from criminal liability because they voluntarily contacted law enforcement authorities with information about the criminal offense. One of these persons in Viktors Ziemeles, a former board member of Trasta Komercbanka, and the other is the late Igors Buimistrs, who used to be the now defunct bank's shareholder.