If the State President participated in small frauds as a private person, he has the rights not answer for them; – this was the core of the response response of the head of the state given by the President’s Press Secretary Liga Krapane on the questions from Pietiek.com last week. Questions were asked in relation to the lies Berzins was caught telling earlier about his participation in the apartment building management company Valnu nams 11 members’ meeting.
On May 10, Berzins was seen visiting a building located on Dzirnavu Street 68, where the bureau of the ex-prime minister Andris Skele is located. «It was there where the Valnu nams 11 shareholders’ meeting took place. The President has a specific address [Valnu Street 11]. He does not have anything to do with Skele,»- Krapane previously claimed as she forwarded the Presidents explanation to Pietiek.com.
However, according to the official document handed to the Registry of enterprises, by giving this answer with Krapane as an intermediary the President of Latvia lied: according to the protocol of the emergency shareholders’ meeting of Valnu nams 11, this meeting, in which both Berzins and Skele’s ex-wife and her daughter participated, took place in a different place – on Valnu Street 11-9.
After the portal received footage from a video camera, the President was asked additional questions through his Press Secretary, about his part in both meetings that took place on different addresses. One day later, the President’s reply was: «The President participated in the Valnu nams 11 shareholders’ meeting as a private person. In accordance with that, any question related to the meeting should be directed to the organizers.» Berzins did not want to answer any questions.
It should be noted that, according to the facts stated in the Latvietis parastais (Latvian regular) book, even the method how Berzins received that apartment was even more crafty: «On May 23, 1996, then the president of Unibank Andris Berzins writes a letter to the Privatization agency, requesting its permission to sell real estate owned by the bank (controlling stakes of which are still owned by the Latvian state). It is neither the first, nor the last time the bank gets rid of useless property, – and on August 22 of the same year the Privatization agency led by Janis Naglis makes the decision with which Unibank is given green light to sell one sixth of its property on Valnu Street 11 for a price that is not allowed to be lower than 115 383 LVL.
(…)During the meeting of the Council of Unibank on March 12, 1996 Edmunds Krastins, as the Chairman of the Council, supported Andris Berzins’ initiative to sell the apartments, because “they are not crucial to ensuring the banks functionality», and the council agrees as well. (…) The evaluator, which performed a full evaluation of the real estate according to the bank’s order, found a number of defects – «the site has inconvenient car accessibility, parking in close proximity of the site is problematic», additionally «the site is also burdened by the city engineering communications».
AS a result of this evaluation and in accordance with Andris Berzins’ written compliance the price of one m2 of this real estate property (including the land under the building) is 108 LVL, in accordance with this, three apartments located on the fourth floor – 120, 95 and 72 m2 – are to be sold by the bank for 12 960, 10 260 and 7 776 LVL, and two other apartment on the fifth floor – 157 and 166 m2 – for 16 956 and 17 928 LVL. Berzins himself, who spent months, writing requests about the necessity for the bank to relieve itself from the useless apartments, was not left without benefits as well – he moved in as a neighbour to Andris Grutups in a 157 m2 large apartment. It cost 16 930.68 LVL.