KNAB candidates pledge independence

  • 2009-01-30
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS
RIGA - The field of candidates to take over as head of the Latvian anti-corruption bureau (KNAB) has been narrowed down to two leading people, Arturs Zvejsalnieks and NormundsVilnitis, with both pledging that they are independent of political influence.

"So far I had been investigating very serious crimes, crimes related withthe so called top-level organized crime. I have faced threats, I have beenoffered bribes, I have not subjected to them, I have not been afraid, Ihave not been influenced, and I think that in the future I will also beindependent and I will be able to make my own decisions," saidZvejsalnieks in an interview with Latvian commercial television LNT onFriday.

Asked whether he has discussed possible support to his candidacy withpoliticians, Zvejsalnieks underscored his political independence.

"I have not spoken about support of politicians, I have not been forwardedby any hairy hands or oligarchs," he said.

Vilnitis underscored his independence as well. He also said that the organization should increase its presence outside of the capital city.

"First, and it is not only my opinion, but also an opinion of Zvejsalnieksand other candidates, KNAB operations should be expanded in regions. Atpresent they are mainly around Riga, Jurmala, but not around Aluksne,Daugavpils or other regions. Is there no corruption? I think, there iscorruption. And people in the regions feel it as painfully as in Riga,"said Vilnitis.