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Saeima deputies impede Kušners’ re-approval as council member of Bank of Latvia

Edvards Kušners/bank.lv.
Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee’s members have agreed to ask for more time to discuss the matter regarding Bank of Latvia council member Edvards Kušners’ possible approval for a repeated term.


Because of that, deputies could not make a decision in favour of Kušners as a candidate. The committee plans to return to this matter next week. Kušners says he is ready to meet with Saeima factions to answer questions.


Acting governor of the Bank of Latvia Zoja Rasmusa said during the meeting that she proposed Kušners for a second term because he is a good professional.


Most of the questions Kušners was asked were associated with events of 2005. At the time, he was deputy chief of the Legal Affairs Office of the Bank of Land. He was later appointed as an authorized person to Delaware-registered company Carew Estates LLC.


Kušners told deputies that Delaware is not an offshore from the perspective of Latvian legislation. He explained that an attack was performed on some company and he became involved to help some people. Kušners mentioned multiple times that this situation did not create any negative consequences for the country. The case itself was not associated with tax avoidance. He said he performed his duties diligently.


Kušners says the holder of the controlling package of shares in the company he mentioned found a person who tried taking it over. A civil conflict prevented that person from doing that in a simple way. Because of that, an intervention was needed. He also said that he was stated as an authorized person in the public state registry and never tried to hide this fact.


Deputy Renārs Putniņš asked multiple times during the meeting if such a company can be considered a shell company now that Latvia’s legislation has been changed. Razmusa said one of its criteria may fit the definition.


Committee’s chairman Jānis Vucāns said Kušners is a lawyer. Because of that, he views this situation from such a perspective. However, he added that there is also a moral aspect to this situation. Deputies agreed to take a pause in this matter’s review and then listen to what Kušners has to say.


Vucāns asked for the opinion of Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office if the law permits acting governor of the Bank of Latvia Razmusa to propose council member candidates. The law states that the Saeima approves council members of the central bank following proposals from the governor of the Bank of Latvia. The law also states that in the absence of the governor of the Bank of Latvia, their duties are performed by the deputy governor. Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office has confirmed that deputies can freely consider Razmusa’s proposed candidate.

BNN/LETA

12-05-2018
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