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HomeLatviaLatvian prosecutor asks for 4-year jail sentence for Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski

Latvian prosecutor asks for 4-year jail sentence for Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski

The prosecutor of the Riga Regional Court has asked former Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railways; LDz) CEO Ugis Magonis and Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski, who are standing trial in Latvia on corruption charges, to be sentenced to four years in prison each, the Estonian daily Postimees reports.

The prosecutor is also seeking partial confiscation of property for Magonis and a three-year ban on participation in public procurement for Ossinovski. The prosecutor has also asked that the 499,500 euros found on the men at the moment they were arrested be declared criminal assets and confiscated for the benefit of the state.

The Riga Regional Court is scheduled to continue hearing the case on July 29 and July 31, after hearing the defense lawyers’ speeches. The defendants are scheduled to make their closing statements at the court on September 18 and 19.

The Vidzeme District Court in Limbazi had previously acquitted Magonis and Ossinovski of all charges, but the prosecutor’s office then appealed against the verdict.

The charges against Magonis are based on a combination of two acts. Namely, the prosecutor’s office claims that in the summer of 2015, he was given money to facilitate the purchase of four diesel locomotives from Skinest Rail, owned by Ossinovski.

The prosecutor’s office also believes that Magonis promised to meet with the then president of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, and to reach a favorable decision for Ossinovski, meaning that the Russian locomotives would be repaired at the Daugavpils plant. According to the prosecutor’s office, the total amount of the bribe was about half a million euros.

Magonis was arrested on August 6, 2015 by the Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

The court found that Magonis did not meet the managers of Russian Railways not as a Latvian public official, but because he had personal and friendly relations with the managers of Russian Railways, according to the judge.

Magonis’ activities at Russian Railways were in no way related to his official duties, the judge added. Magonis’ official duties did not include looking after Ossinovski’s business interests and Ossinovski allegedly gave money to Magonis as a private individual for lobbying his interests at Russian Railways.

Therefore, the judge found that the elements of a crime have not been established in the case of either of the accused.

The accused themselves do not admit their guilt. Ossinovski pleads not guilty to the crime of corruption brought against him, although he does not deny that he gave money to Magonis, but claims that it was intended for other purposes.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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