ECB governor can be prosecuted for corruption – EU court

2 months ago | 49

European Union

THE former governor of an EU member state’s central bank is not immune from prosecution in cases of corruption, the top court of the European Union ruled on Tuesday.

The European Court of Justice said in a press release that the governor’s immunity under EU law does not apply when the criminal acts under investigation were “manifestly not committed by that governor in his or her official capacity’’.

Ilmars Rimsevics was charged in 2018 in Latvia with receiving, and later money-laundering, two bribes concerning the regulation of a Latvian bank.

However, the Riga District Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice as the official, up until 2019, was also a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) when the charges of corrupt practices took place.

The governing council is the main decision-making body of the ECB and consists of the six members of the executive board and the governors of the central banks of the 19 members of the euro area.

The Latvian judges wanted clarification on whether the governor was exempted from prosecution like other EU office-holders acting in an official capacity, the ECJ press release stated.

The ECJ decided that the acts of fraud, corruption or money laundering were not carried out by the governor in an official capacity and were contrary to the EU’s interests.

As a result, the governor’s immunity from prosecution may be lifted. 


- Nov. 30, 2021 @ 15:57 GMT |

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