Bank of Latvia gover­nor will ap­point his re­place­ment at ECB; will con­test pros­e­cu­tor’s de­ci­sion first

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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.

Evija Tri­fanova/LETA

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