Weakening fight against corruption in Latvia

08. December, 2015


The number of convicted public officials has declined radically. This is one of the conclusions from the trial statistics about the court cases of 2014 analysed and visualized by PROVIDUS.

Only 9 public officials were convicted in the first instance in 2014, which is the lowest number since 2004, when PROVIDUS began to analyse this official data. Among the convicted public officials were 4 representatives of the State Police, 3 officials of the State Border Guard, as well as one judge and one official of the State Fire and Rescue Service.

“The low number of trial officials reveals a worrying trend, which testifies the weakening of the fight against corruption in Latvia. The fight against corruption of officials was more active in 2005, when 96 officials were convicted,” said Valts Kalniņš, PROVIDUS’ senior policy analysts.

In cases of criminal offenses related to public sector corruption, in which the first-instance judgments were made in 2014, the total number of tried persons reached 107. All of the 107 persons were convicted (no one was acquitted), and it is the largest number of convicts since 2007. The majority of the convicted persons (87 criminal cases) were prosecuted for bribing the traffic police, with most of the cases coming from the Zemgale region.

“This shows that the Zemgale regional branch of the State Police fights bribe giving to the road police most actively, as approximately two-thirds of all cases of this kind came from this region (57 cases out of 87),” says Valts Kalniņš.

Trial statistics also reveals that public officials rarely face real imprisonment for bribery. 68 public officials have been found guilty for bribe taking in cases were judgments were made in the first instance court between 2010 and 2014 (with judgments already into force). Out of them 9 persons received sentences of real prison terms, while 54 persons received conditional sentences. Moreover, almost all the corruption court cases of 2014 have been relatively simple, as indirectly evidenced by the fact that in May 2015 all but one judgment had already entered into force. This strengthens the conclusion that the fight against corruption in Latvia has weakened.

The statistics relate to public officials’ offences of abuse of office, as well as offering or giving bribes. The data from court cases in 2014. The entry into force of judgments reflects the situation as of 11 May 2015.

For more information, please contact PROVIDUS’ Senior Policy Analyst Valts Kalniņš,, +371 67039280, +371 67039251

The visualization has been created in Project „PROVIDUS – a partner of state in policy planning and policy making process”. Project is financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in framework of NGO Project Measure. NGO Project Measure is financed with financial support from EEA Financial Mechanism and Republic of Latvia.

Trial Statistics


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