After reviewing a bribery case related to the public utility Latvenergo in appeal order, a court has sentenced three individuals to prison for bribery and bribe taking, reported LTV.
In particular, Latvenergo’s former vice-president Aigars Melko was sentenced to four and a half years, while company Energy Consulting head Andrejs Livanovics as well as Latvenergo technical director Gunars Cvetkovs were sentenced to three and a half years.
In addition, €146,500 obtained illegally are to be confiscated and transferred to the state budget. The state will also enforce €182,600 from Cvetkovs and €290,000 from Melko, as these are thought to have been acquired illegally.
The case can still be appealed, and the defendants were not arrested in court. They were earlier made to pay hefty fines, but the case went to appeal.
According to the indictment in the case, Latvenergo officials and employees were receiving bribes from August 2007 to June 2010 so Latvenergo would pick Alstom Power Sweden AB’s bid for reconstruction of hydraulic units at the Plavinas power plant. The total amount of bribes, in this particular case, was €627,100.
Livanovics was charged with giving bribes, and Melko and his former colleague Cvetkovs with taking bribes.
The Corruption Prevention Bureau opened the criminal case against Latvenergo officials in 2010. Searches were carried out at their offices, and several leading Latvenergo officials were detained, including former Latvenergo President Karlis Mikelsons and his deputy Melko.
In the fall of 2012, the Corruption Prevention Bureau asked the prosecutor’s office to bring charges against seventeen persons in total over bribery during the reconstruction of Plavinas power plant and Riga 2nd cogeneration plant.
According to the Corruption Prevention Bureau, the now former Latvenergo officials have received a total of approximately €8 million in bribes, and were to receive another €11 million in bribe money but were detained before it could happen.