Latvia’s prime minister appoints new head of Control Service

Lawyer Ilze Znotiņa has agreed to take post as head of Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity, as confirmed by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in an interview to Rīta panorama programme.

Znotiņa will take office 1 June. She provided written consent to lead the Control Service on Wednesday, 9 May, said the prime minister.

Kučinskis says he wants the current head – Viesturs Burkāns – to continue providing support to the service. He said Burkāns may be appointed as deputy chairman.

The prime minister adds that Znotiņa’s work group will search for a solution to ensure the service’s independence and reorganization. Kučinskis allows that the status of the Control Service could be similar to that of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau or Constitution Protection Bureau.

On Tuesday, 8 May, the Cabinet of Ministers agreed to form a work group that would search for solutions to make sure the Control Service is no longer supervised by the Prosecutor General’s Office. Ministers conceptually supported the prime minister’s proposal to change the supervisory model for the Control Service to help boost the service’s capacity, independence and authority.

It is also reported that Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers’ chosen candidate asked for more time to consider if she wants to take post in the Control Service. Znotiņa says before she can accept this proposal, she wants to discuss her possible duties with representatives of Financial Sector’s Development Council.

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