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Authorities end criminal process against businessmen Krūmiņš and Valters

Jūlijs Krūmiņš/play24
Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has ended the criminal process on trade of influence against businessmen Jūlijs Krūmiņš, Haralds Balodis and ex-basketball player Valdis Valters.

KNAB confirmed that a decision was made on 10 April to end the criminal process due to a lack of evidence.

Commenting on KNAB’s decision, Valters said that clearly Latvia’s legislation is that any person can end up a suspect. He explains that two lying claims that he and others «had done something bad», upon which the case was built, have been tossed aside, letting the truth – that there was nothing more than a clean business deal – surface.

Valters stresses that KNAB’s poorly put-together criminal case has ruined his reputation. Although the law allows Valters to turn to court or Justice Ministry against the state to enforce compensation, the businessman has no plans to do this.

«I’m not sure I can recover my reputation thanks to the mistake made by KNAB. I had never though there are laws in Latvia that allow any person to end up in such a situation. This criminal case was based on erroneous and false interpretations made by people,» says Valters.

Valters also thanks the prosecutor’s office for not raising charges immediately, instead submitting the case to KNAB for an additional investigation. «The prosecutor’s office quickly understood that nothing happened and no losses were caused to anyone, because the case was created out of thin air,» adds the businessman.

As previously reported, at the end of 2018 KNAB requested the Prosecutor General’s Office to raise charges against Krūmiņš, Balodis and Valters. The prosecutor for especially serious cases later cancelled KNAB investigator’s decision to submit the case for commencement of criminal prosecution and instead ordered KNAB to continue the investigation.

The prosecutor said that evidence submitted was insufficient for commencement of criminal prosecution of suspects.

When submitting the case for criminal prosecution, KNAB informed the press that the case is related to some legal person’s litigation against some municipality for development of detailed planning of a construction project. KNAB believed at the time that to resolve the conflict in a specific way, representative of the legal person turned to a private person to influence a municipal official because they believed the private person has influence over the municipal official.

KNAB believed that in exchange for «assistance», the legal person’s representatives promised the private person capital shares. According to information reported by KNAB, for the duration of the project’s implementation part of capital shares of the legal person was given to the private person. Then the legal person and municipality agreed on a peaceful resolution of the litigation, KNAB reported. The bureau did not turn against a single municipal official in this criminal case.


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