The strange case of Latvia’s former president and the 'broken' watch

AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini
Latvia’s former president Vaira V??e-Freiberga is reported to have illegally appropriated a formal gift valued at around 1000 lats (approximately $US 2300)which was presented to her during her term of office, according t

It reports the luxurious Rado watch was excluded from her fixed assets two days before Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s end of term. Despite official documents saying the watch was broken and thus couldn’t be used any longer, the former president has often been seen wearing it at formal events.

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga received the watch in 2000 as a present from the readers of one of Latvia’s newspapers.

According to Latvian law, officials leaving office are allowed to buy the presents they like. However, the former president, whose revenue amounted to 170,000 lats ($US 390,000) in 2006, didn’t do so  when she left office in July 2007.