RIGA - The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) will conclude its investigation into New Era leader Einars Repse by July 15, said MP Janis Lagzdins. Lagzdins chairs the parliamentary investigation commission that is also probing Repse's business affairs.
During the commission's April 26 meeting, KNAB chief Aleksejs Loskutovs told lawmakers that, due to the large number of deals made by Repse and difficult financial operations in Latvia, the United States and other countries, the bureau's investigation was lengthy and complicated.
KNAB sent inquiries to the Latvian State Revenue Service, the Civil Aviation Agency, several Latvian-registered banks, the Latvian Central Depository of Securities, the Road Traffic Safety Directorate, the State Social Insurance Agency, the State Land Service, the Ship Register and the Business Register.
Because of the extensive amount of information involved, investigators have estimated that the process will take until mid-July.
Citing its right under the criminal law, KNAB did not provide the commission with any additional information about the request for judicial assistance sent to the United States.
Parliament's investigation commission was formed in early February 2004, a few days before Repse resigned as prime minister.
A year earlier Repse began investing in real estate, spending a total of almost 324,000 lats. Because Repse used to be the Bank of Latvia's president, Parliament set up a commission to investigate if he was offered favorable lending terms.
During his term as dense minister in 2005, Repse pledged his stake in the Raznas Priedes company in order to receive a loan from the Baltic International Bank. The pledge was registered with a minimum collateralized claim of 2.1 million lats.
According to Repse's income declaration, the New Era owns not only several properties in Latvia, but also approximately $1 million worth of shares in U.S.-registered companies.
In December 2005, Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis announced that KNAB had opened a criminal proceeding over Repse's business deals. Repse stepped down as defense minister on the following day.