Why did corruption watchdog chief lie about the information leak?

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau chief Jēkabs Straume explains that when journalists had initially asked him about the possible information leak in relation to the criminal case involving Saeima deputy Askolds Kļaviņš he said he knew nothing because he had no idea information from the report to the prosecutor general had ended up in the hands of the press.

Straume also said that no head of a state institution would ever disclose information from restricted access documents. When Straume found out about the information leak, he admitted it and provided an explanation.

CPCB chief also said he is ready to publish the institution’s report addressed to Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers regarding the possible information leak in relation to the Saeima deputy’s case if all permits have been received.

Straume mentioned after a meeting of the National Security Committee that he would sign approval for publication of this document. However, this requires permission from the investigator and supervisory prosecutor. He said the appropriate time for the publication of the document is after commencement of criminal prosecution.

When asked if there was an information leak in Kļaviņš’s case, Straume said he is «moderately convinced that it is not as though [Indulis] Emsis had information that CPCB has launched a criminal process for him to tell about it to Kļaviņš». At the same time, Straume said CPCB had requested Saeima to provide copies of receipts in March. «Do you think other ways for information distribution are not possible in this situation?» said the chief of the bureau, responding to the question regarding information in Emsis’ hands. He says the matter regarding information in Emsis’ hands has been checked by the prosecutor’s office.

Straume also told journalists that Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis did not disclose any information about Kļaviņš too early.

He said of the 34 ongoing criminal processes, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis has been informed of three. Provision of information took place after criminal procedures and was done so that the prime minister would be able to answer questions associated with criminal cases.

The prime minister was informed of measures the day prior to their execution in relation to governor of the President of Latvia Ilmāru Rimšēviču. The one day difference between provision of information and execution of measures is because at the time the Rimšēvičs was abroad.

The day when the process took place, information was also provided about deputies Artuss Kaimiņš and Kļaviņš.

According to available information, the investigator of Kļaviņš’s case had sent a request to Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers in May regarding a possible information leak during the pre-trial investigation. It is likely that information may have had been leaked by Kučinskis.

Kučinskis, however, denies leaking information. He has also said that this whole situation ‘storm in a cup’ for the pre-election period.

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