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Monday 19.02.2018 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna
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Bondars: there are many people who want to «wipe their feet» on me

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUKPMG Baltics, administrator of bankrupt Latvijas Krajbanka, has enforced EUR 15 million from former members of the board, including Riga City Council deputy Mārtiņš Bondars. In a conversation with BNN, said this is nothing more than political score-settling.

He does not think he should pay EUR 2 million, because first the court has to prove that damage was caused to the bank and the bank did not suffer damage.

Krajbanka’s scandal demands a forged amount from Bondars

It should be added that it has been reported in the public space that the amount enforced from Bondars is associated with two loans issued in 2008 to offshore companies associated with the bank’s owner Vladimir Antonovs and caused the bank losses worth EUR 3.57 million and USD 20.7 million.

***

Bondars said in an interview to BNN: «First of all it is important to keep in mind what the liquidator says. The liquidator says that bank’s board is responsible for asset price changing negatively. With that, it is necessary for them to cover the difference. The board issues a loan and once assets’ prices reduce, the bank’s board has to carry responsibility for those assets.»

Continuing, he notes: «If we look at this from the viewpoint of the law, the liquidator has to prove two things. First, that the damage was caused to the bank, not that losses appeared for the bank. Secondly, that the losses were caused by some specific individual. There wasn’t even an attempt to prove either in court,» said Bondars.

Bondars, when asked if there is any possible resolution to this situation, said: «I will say again – this is a political case. There are many different people who want to wipe their feet on me, and they are doing that quite successfully.»

***

Bondars said about his time in Krajbanka: «I have no problems with my conscience with those or any other loans. The years I spend managing Krajbanka had good results.»

It is worth mentioning that information posted on it.lv states that the first loan is associated with procurement of Highlander yacht and the other – with Krapivny property real estate development project in St Petersburg. Both loans along with six additional episodes were viewed by London Court, which decided to enforce EUR 60.5 million and USD 30.8 million from Antonovs on behalf of the bank. The banker paid nothing and then ran from the country.

Continuing on the topic of loans that were issued and which, according to KPMG Baltics, caused losses for the bank, Bondars says: «They have been checked by the Finance and Capital Market Committee and Ernst & Young. Neither institution has had anything against Krajbanka’s results in general or those loans.»

***

Commenting on if it can be called political score-settling, Bondars says that it is civil process, which has a plaintiff and defendant. «In this case the plaintiff is the groups involved in the liquidation process in Latvia that are associated with the political environment and gain massive financial benefits. They also have their hands around law enforcement institutions. Unfortunately, even courts are also involved in distorting economic and legal environment in Latvia,» Bondars said.

He believes that it is in Latvia’s interests to make sure ‘the right to work in this business should be taken away from certain groups’, which, according to Bondars, causes distortion of the country’s economic and legal environment. «To make sure those individuals are no longer able to cause any kind of damage to other people and the state,» comments Bondars.

When asked where those EUR 15 million will go, Bondars said: «There is the appeal in the 1st instance. I still hope healthy reason will win in the end.»

«I am inconvenient for those in power»

Bondars is confident that his involvement in Krajbanka case is political score-settling. «It’s all about how inconvenient I am for people in power, then in the Saeima and Riga City Council now,» says Bondars.

He says ‘this organized group’ has done everything it can to make it look like Mārtiņš Bondars is associated with problems in Krajbanka. «But for some strange reason, all institutions involved with supervision and audit procedures have not had a single question to ask to Mārtiņš Bondars all these years,» the deputy explains the situation.

Is Bondars’ name tainted?

«Of course, my reputation is under attack. There are people who wipe their feet on me. And they also delegate this ‘task’ to part of society,» Bondars says.

At the same time, he admits that he has no intention to explain himself to society. «There are things I can’t do. I know for a fact that, when looking in a mirror, I have no regrets about what I did in Krajbanka. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that Latvia is ruled by Soviet traditions. This is proven by the fact that people that are in power are involved in legislative processes and actively act to push their political opponents off the road.»

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