Latvian prosecutor's office asks European Parliament president to consider lifting Usakovs' immunity

  • 2020-10-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvian prosecutor's office has sent a request to the president of the European Parliament to consider lifting the immunity of MEP Nils Usakov (Harmony) so the prosecutor's office could bring charges against him, as the prosecutor office's press secretary Aiga Eiduka told LETA.

As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) has turned to the Prosecutor General's Office with a request to begin prosecution against former Riga mayor and current European Parliament Member Usakovs for possession of a banned video surveillance device.

Although the KNAB now does not mention Usakov's name directly, last year the bureau admitted to LETA that while conducting procedural activities in a separate criminal case, the KNAB found and removed a device to be used for special operational activities from Usakovs' office.

Usakovs himself previosly posted on his Facebook account that the removed device was a "some sort of self-made recording device" that was on the shelf. "As I understood from the description, it is a glued album with a built-in camera and microphone," Usakovs explained. He claimed that the presence of the device in his office was a surprise to him.

The KNAB initiated the Usakovs video surveillance device case on October 7, 2019, separating it from the Rigas Satiksme vehicle procurement case.

Marta Ribele, the head of the European Parliament's Information Office in Latvia, explained to LETA in general that if a law enforcement agency of a European Union member state suspects that a member of the European Parliament has committed a crime, the MEP should be treated in the same way as a member of that specific country's parliament.

"This usually means requesting the lifting of the MEP's immunity. Then the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs comes up with recommendations for the vote in the European Parliament on the lifting of immunity,'' she explained.