Latvian justice minister expresses no confidence in prosecutor general

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-18 02:08:18|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RIGA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Latvian Justice Minister Janis Bordans announced on Friday that he had lost confidence in Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers and accused him of a failure to clamp down on money laundering.

The justice minister also called for an assessment of the prosecutor general's job performance, which would effectively start a procedure of his removal from office.

The Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office are both authorities in charge of keeping the Latvian financial system in line with international anti-money laundering standards.

Bordans claimed that Kalnmeiers' "attitude and activities threaten the implementation of the recommendations" provided to Latvia by the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval) and thus also the "financial and economic stability" of Latvia, because a failure to comply with the Moneyval recommendations would entail serious reputational consequences for the country.

Under the Latvian law, an inquiry into the prosecutor general's job performance can be initiated by the Supreme Court chairman or at least one third of the parliament.

The justice minister has sent the government a letter calling on ministers to ask Supreme Court chairman Ivars Bickovics to initiate such an inquiry.

On Monday, Bordans is expected to present his report on Kalnmeiers to the government, which for the time being does not give any comments on the issue.