EU court orders Latvian authorities to let central bank's head return to work

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-27 04:13:17|Editor: yan
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RIGA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmars Rimsevics can resume work as head of the Baltic country's central bank thanks to a verdict delivered on Tuesday by the European Court of Justice in an upset to Latvia's law enforcement authorities.

The EU court overruled the Latvian Corruption Prevention Bureau's decision to ban Rimsevics from doing his job as Bank of Latvia head while he is being probed for graft.

Rimsevics is being investigated for soliciting and accepting a bribe of at least 100,000 euros (116,000 U.S. dollars), reportedly in connection with the liquidation of Latvia's Trasta Komercbanka bank.

Rimsevics has been consistently denying the accusations and refused to stand down as Bank of Latvia governor even though he is barred from performing his office duties.

In their ruling European Court of Justice judges said that the Latvian authorities had failed to prove that "the relieving of Mr. Rimsevics from office is based on the existence of sufficient indications that he has engaged in serious misconduct."

Commenting on the court ruling, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins told reporters that he was less concerned about the European court's verdict than about the Latvian law enforcement authorities' inability to complete the probe against Rimsevics and bring him to justice quickly enough.

Latvian Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers said Rimsevics was now free to resume work at the Bank of Latvia but that this could lead to the situation where he might be able to influence the ongoing probe.