June 28, 2018 / 2:19 PM / 2 months ago

Latvia charges central bank chief Rimsevics with accepting a bribe

RIGA, June 28 (Reuters) - Latvia’s central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics has been charged with soliciting and accepting a bribe following a four-month-long investigation, the Prosecutor General’s office said on Thursday.

Rimsevics has denied the allegations that he accepted a bribe of at least 100,000 euros. If convicted, he could face a prison term of up to 11 years.

“The prosecutor has issued a decision to begin prosecution against the Governor of Bank of Latvia,” a spokeswoman for the prosecutor said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

She said further details will be provided at a news briefing on Friday.

A lawyer for Rimsevics was not immediately available for comment.

The country’s main anti-corruption body has been investigating the allegations since February and handed the case over to prosecutors last week.

Rimsevics has been the central bank governor since 2001 and is also a member of the European Central Bank’s policy-making Governing Council.

He has been barred by Latvian authorities from carrying out his duties as governor pending the investigation and has not able to participate in the ECB’s policy meetings. (Reporting by Gederts Gelzis; editing by Johan Ahlander and Catherine Evans)

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