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ECB asks court to assess restrictions applied to Latvian Central Bank’s governor

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs/flickr.com/Latvijas banka.
European Central Bank confirmed sending a request to the European Court of Justice to assess measures used by Latvian authorities against the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, who is suspected of bribery.

ECB has asked the court to ‘decide if Latvian authorities have violated European legislation’ by applying restrictions for Rimšēvičs to take post as governor of the Bank of Latvia and attend meetings organized by European Central Bank.
 

ECB President Mario Draghi mentioned during a press-conference in March that the bank’s council does not have enough information in relation to this particular case. He added that the court would be asked to provide its conclusion on this matter.
 

Rimšēvičs’ lawyers, meanwhile, have turned to European Court of Justice to challenge the aforementioned restrictions. Lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš had previously said that a case has been launched against the Latvian state.
 

Rimšēvičs’ representative believes Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has breached the independence of the European Central Bank by incorrectly stating that by working in the council of the European Central Bank, Rimšēvičs performs his duties as governor of the Bank of Latvia. This is why CPCB has decided to impose restrictions against him.
 

Vārpiņš says governors of national central banks in the EU and on Latvia’s legislative level have independence guarantees. This means it is possible to dismiss bank managers only in specific cases. This includes, for example, if the person has been found guilty of committing a crime.
 

Rimšēvičs is held suspect of demanding and accepting a bribe worth at least EUR 100,000.

BNN/LETA

08-04-2018
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