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Latvian Railways makes move against Transport Minister

The management of SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz) has asked Latvia’s Justice Department to evaluate the "activities of the Minister of Transport favouring the interest of private companies"

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SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš (LdZ) is the railway infrastructure manager and the leading company of all the state-owned LdZ passenger and freight rail companies, rolling stock companies, etc.


Two LDz Board members, Chairman Edvīns Bērziņš and Aivars Strakšas have asked the law enforcement authorities to investigate the activities of the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Latvia, Tālis Linkaits. They claim the Minister is acting "in the interest of private industrial companies, while at the same time attempting to cause reduction of the value of and privatisation of LDz."

Edvīns Bērziņš (L) and Aivars Strakšas
Edvīns Bērziņš (L) and Aivars Strakšas

Their "open letter" was sent to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Latvia, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, National Security Committee of the Saeima (Parliament), as well as the Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, and the State Chancellery.


"When evaluating the available information and former actions of the Minister, the management of LDz believes that the value of the company is being deliberately reduced with a purpose to achieve its privatisation.


"At the same time, the attention of the law enforcement authorities is drawn towards systematic failure to comply with the governance guidelines for the state capital companies set out by the OECD, which is manifested as influence on the Council of LDz and not taking it into account when making decisions and not involving it into communication with the management of LDz."


The letter further accuses the Minister of Transport of trying to get Edvīns Bērziņš and two other LdZ Board members dismissed, and it implicates Mr Linkaits in possible corrupt actions lobbying in the interests of Baltijas ekspresis and other matters.

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