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Monday 24.10.2016 | Name days: Renāte, Modrīte, Mudrīte

Bergmanis receives verbal reprimand for violations in his declarations

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter inspecting the declaration of Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis for 2014, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau uncovered a number of breaches of restrictions on combining posts. The punishment applied to Bergmanis by KNAB seems rather mild, however – a verbal reprimand, as reported by Pietiek.

The portal is aware that Bergmanis is known to have committed multiple cases of combining posts. KNAB, however, has decided without giving any explanations whatsoever that the minister’s violations are classified as ‘minor’. With that, the case has been concluded without application of any punishment whatsoever. Instead the minister was given a strict verbal reprimand for his wrongdoings. KNAB has yet to provide any comments on this.

It is also unknown whether or not the investigation launched at the portal’s request in regards to Bergmanis’ more significant violations is over. Questions that interest Pietiek were published in a letter of some reader in June. Questions go as follows: «Has any security officer ever earned approximately EUR 100,000 from allowing others to use his or her name in advertisements, by doing exactly what Section 17 of the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials prohibits officials from doing?

Shouldn’t an official who breaches Section 17 of the aforementioned law and gains illegal money from advertisements be criminally prosecuted in accordance with Section 198 of the Criminal Law for accepting material values from advertisements, Section 219 of the Criminal Law for putting false information in a declaration of income, Section 318 for using official position in bad faith, Section 325 for violating restrictions imposed on a public official, Section 326 for unlawful participation in property transactions and the special Section 341 – for abusing power and exceeding official authority?

Aren’t amounts of money this official received for participating in advertisements and other public relations events measured in EUR 3 – 10 thousand annually? Aren’t LTV and LNT involved in those advertisements and self-advertising events as well?

Hasn’t the Saeima and State President’s Security Service official been systematically forgetting to mention fourteen different posts in his declarations throughout 2002 – 2014, which is why it is impossible to track the origin of award money, royalties, winnings and other forms of income he has been receiving over the years? Doesn’t this mean this official has breached Point 3 of Par 1 of Section 24 of the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials?

[…] Does the once proud soldier and advisor to state secretary of Latvian Defence Ministry think that entrepreneurs such as ProudWorksStudio, listed in the Enterprises Register as an advertisement agency, (from which the official received EUR 2,500); Mooz!, which is listed in the Enterprise Register as advertisement agency; MaranaProductions, which is listed in the Enterprise Register as advertisement agency; LEAD Corporate Communications, which is listed in the Enterprise Register as advertisement agency; PP Creative Solutions, which has the same definition in the Enterprise Register; Ideas Institute; VirusArt, which is listed as television programmes production company; as well as companies with self-explanatory titles like Baltic Entertainment Agency, Silent Show, AD ASTRA Marketing Communications Agency, from which the official was paid nearly EUR 12,000, etc., can be considered to be engaged in creative work or sports and not advertising?

Did the former security officer brew beer over at Alus brālība and baked scones at Latviešu maiznieks out of love for sports and creativity?

Is it possible that by allowing his name to be used in countless advertisements, product placements, publicity and marketing the official earned approximately EUR 88,742.54 throughout 2002-2011 and 2014?

Does the former security officer understand that even though Saeima deputies are allowed to combine their posts with professional sports or creative activities, use of their name for advertisements and marketing is not considered as creative activities or sports?

[…] Were those violations ever noticed and investigated by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau? Has the bureau ever punished anyone for committing those crimes?

[…] Don’t other soldiers, security service officers and state officials feel at least somewhat foolish, knowing that they respect the law and don’t earn money with advertisements while a certain someone earns money with advertisements and his business in Strongmen Republic, doesn’t declare income and even takes part in the Dinner for Fools play? […] Will the Vice-President of Latvian Olympics Committee and Saeima deputy ever feel shame for his wrongdoings and simply leave, ending this ridiculous charade?»


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