Bank of Latvia governor will appoint his replacement at ECB; will contest prosecutor’s decision first
Bribery accused governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs intends to name his replacement in the European Central Bank Council. However, doing this is impossible at this time, because he first has to contest the decision of the Prosecutor General’s decision in regards to the investigation, said Rimšēvičs’ lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.
Defence believes Latvia’s has failed to complete European Union Court’s order on interim injunction, because approval of a new representative is legally impossible in a situation when the governor or the Bank of Latvia remains applied with a security measure – restriction to perform his duties, said lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš. He added that the EU Court «made it clear with its order that Latvia has to halt the security measure so that Rimšēvičs is able to appoint his replacement in ECB in accordance with regulations.» Approval of a replacement member of the European Central Bank differs from simple provision of authority, because the governor of a central bank first has to be able to access information system and information about developments on the world’s financial markets, said Vārpiņš.
Before approving a replacement representative in ECB, the governor of the Bank of Latvia needs to have access to matters discussed during meetings of ECB Council, as well as meet with central bank’s specialists to discuss positions in certain matters, added Vārpiņš. «Unfortunately, instead of approving a replacement in ECB to ensure continued function of the organization, Rimšēvičs if forced to appeal the decision made by the Prosecutor General in court,» said the lawyer.
As previously reported, following an order from the EU Court, Latvia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has clarified the security measure applied to Rimšēvičs, permitting him to appoint his replacement to the Council of the European Bank.
The security measure was not changed – only clarified that he has the right to appoint his replacement to the ECB Council.
The court reviewed the request from ECB on interim injunction, in which the central bank requested Latvia to halt the restriction for Rimšēvičs to perform his duties as governor of the Bank of Latvia so that he is at the very least able to appoint his replacement in the ECB Council.
On 20 July, deputy chairman of EU Court issued an order in accordance with which Latvia is to perform the necessary measures to ensure that until the final verdict is ruled in the criminal case involving Rimšēvičs, security measures imposed by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau against him are to be put on hold as far as necessary so that they do not prevent him from performing his duties as a member of ECB Council.
ECB’s request was denied, according to the published statement.