RIGA - Supervisory board at the joint-stock power utility Latvenergo will carry out a probe to determine whether the company has in recent years preferentially treated businessman Maris Martinsons, as well as companies and persons associated with him, as Latvenergo supervisory board chairman Ivars Golsts told LETA. At the same time, in order to ensure neutrality, chairman of Latvenergo management board Aris Zigurs will be on annual vacation until October 30.
At the meeting of the company's supervisory board on Monday, information released by Latvian Television on Sunday about an investigation started in 2018 and completed this past August was assessed - according to Latvian Television, several persons were implicated in the case, including Zigurs and former Latvenergo board member Maris Kunickis.
According to Golsts, Latvenergo internal audit and external experts will be tasked with checking information on procurements and other transactions performed by Latvenergo Group in recent years.
To ensure neutrality of the probe, Zigurs will be on annual vacation until October 30. During this time, Latvenergo Commercial Director Uldis Bariss will be the company's acting CEO.
According to Latvian Television, the Corruption Prevention Bureau learned that Martinsons had met with Zigurs and Kunickis in 2015 to discuss pending changes in Latvenergo management board's makeup and the group's procurements. The three also talked about Martinsons' plans to meet with then Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) in Italy and give her a bribe in order to influence the results of a competition for Latvenergo board members. The Corruption Prevention Bureau later questioned Reizniece-Ozola, but could not prove that Martinsons had tried to bribe her or Latvenergo officials.
Zigurs and Kunickis were appointed to the Latvenergo management board in the fall of 2010, shortly after Latvenergo President Karlis Mikelsons and vice-president Aigars Melko were fired. Zigurs still remains Latvenergo CEO, while Kunnickis has been working at Ukrainian power utility DTEK since end-2018.