RIGA – Suspended Riga mayor and newly elected European Parliament lawmaker Nils Usakovs (Harmony) has the status of a suspect in the criminal case investigating procurements at Rigas Satiksme municipal public transport company, the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) confirmed to LETA.
Also, KNAB said that during searches in Usakovs’ office, an object of strategic signifcance has been seized by KNAB officials. In line with the Criminal Law, purchase, storage and use of such objects is forbidden. Breach of the law carries criminal responsibility.
KNAB did not comment on the object, but Usakovs said in his Facebook post that the confiscated object had been a self-made recording device found in his shelf, and he himself had not known about it.
As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau has started a criminal case on three procurement tenders organized by Rigas Satiksme: 2016 tender to buy low-floor trams for a total of EUR 62,597,477, 2013 tender to buy trolley-buses for a total of EUR 131,646,135, and one more 2013 tender to buy buses worth EUR 75,808,297. The criminal procedure investigates bribery and money laundering in relation to these procurement tenders.
In early December 2018, the Riga City Vidzeme District Court decided to leave six of the seven suspects in the case in custody - businessman and member of Honor to Serve Riga party Aleksandrs Krjaceks, former Rigas Satiksme's Infrastructure Maintenance and Development Department head Igors Volkinsteins, former Rigas Satiksme board chairman Leons Bemhems, Skoda Transportation manager Vladislav Kozak, businessman Maris Martinsons - who is also implicated in other criminal cases, and businessman Edgars Teterovskis.
Teterovskis’ wife and board member of Kozak’s company, now liquidated Tram Servis Riga, was another suspect in the case, but she was not kept in custody.
Krjaceks was released a week after the arrest. Other were released on bails – EUR 200,000 for Bemhens, EUR 100,000 or Volkinsteins, EUR 70,000 for Teterovskis, and EUR 500,000 for Martinsons. Kozaks was released in April, but no bail was set for him.