RIGA - On May 21 the Riga Regional Court sentenced a former prosecutor to 10 years in jail for several graft-related offenses, including demanding a bribe, and gave a three-year suspended sentence to an accessory for acting as a middleman in the bribe.
It was the longest sentence to date handed down in a corruption case.
Former prosecutor Stanislavs Nazarovs was charged with extorting a 50,000 lat (75,500 euro) bribe, illegal possession of a revolver and ammunition, organizing the release of false information and for omissions made during his professional career.
The Corruption Prevention and Control Bureau detained Nazarovs on April 3, 2003, for demanding the bribe in connection with the murder case of alcohol businessmen Dainis Peimanis. The prosecutor only received part of the demanded sum.
Nazarovs denied all the charges and argued that several mistakes and inaccuracies were permitted during the investigation. Genadijs Spikovs, who served as the middleman in the bribery, also pleaded innocent.
In addition to the convictions, the court also passed three resolutions, two of which were addressed to the Prosecutor General's Office. One resolution pointed out negligence by a high state attorney who supervised Nazarovs' work, while the other charged that Aldis Pundurs, the prosecutor in charge of the case, acted "more like Nazarovs' counsel than a prosecutor."
Going a step farther, the court forwarded testimonial information from the case to the corruption bureau suggesting that Nazarovs had offered another bribe.
Reiterating that he was innocent, Nazarovs told the press he was going to file an appeal.
In his former position, Nazarovs worked on a number of important cases, including Peimanis' murder, the murder of a former Latvian Privatization Agency official, Ilona Skadina, and the attempted murder of businessman Maris Millers.