LIAA director faces bribery allegations

  • 2010-06-08
  • Oskars Magone

The LIAA director has been engaged in an ongoing row with a prominent Latvian company as the two sides hurl accusations. (photo: LIAA)

RIGA - The director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), Andris Ozols, has been accused of demanding a bribe amidst an ongoing row with "Aerodium" Chairman Ivars Beitans.

Beitans has claimed that three people witnessed the demand, whereby the longtime LIAA director allegedly demanded 8% of an agreement between the two organizations in connection with the "World Expo 2010". The agreement between "Aerodium" and the LIAA is worth a total of 2.55 million lats, and as such the bribe would have amounted to 204,000 Lats, national news agency LETA reported. 

"We refused to pay, therefore problems began to occur," Beitans told LNT morning news show 900 seconds.

The accusations come a day after Ozols said Aerodium - which makes vertical wind tunnels that simulate sky diving for either entertainment or military training drills - was guilty of defrauding state funds and had attempted to "blackmail" the national development agency.

In an interview yesterday on Latvian State Radio, Ozols categorically denied that he would have accepted a bribe, describing Beitans as a fraudster.