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Monday 18.06.2018 | Name days: Madis, Alberts
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Court overrules ruling on former minister’s «defamatory» statements on Lembergs

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

former Latvian Minister of Environment and Regional Development Edmunds Sprūdžs and Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs

The Latvian Supreme Court has overruled a ruling by the Riga Regional Court in the argument between former Latvian Minister of Environment and Regional Development Edmunds Sprūdžs and the Mayor of Ventspils, criminally-accused Aivars Lembergs.

The essence of the matter is that Lembergs sued Sprūdžs over the first saying on-air during the 900 sekundes news programme on LNT TV channel that «you [Lembergs] should carry a real punishment – thieves should be put in prison like they are in films’. The ex-minister also said in his interview that Lembergs has been «spitting Latvia’s residents in the face» for the past 20 years, demonstrating that «laws are not equal for all in this country». Sprūdžs also added that Lembergs was the «largest tumour in Latvia’s municipal system».

Delfi news portal wrote that the Latvian Supreme Court, the Department of Civil Cases now established that it cannot agree with the conclusion by the appeals instance court that an average reasonable viewer could have been prompted to conclude that the claimant, Lembergs, was guilty of crimes he have been charged with.

The politician has been blamed for blamed for giving and receiving bribes, legalisation of illegally-acquired money, abuse of the power of their positions and violation of the limitations of public office set forth by the law.

Lembergs reasoned that by calling him a thief, Sprūdžs had breached the principle of the presumption of innocence.

The lower-instance court had ruled that the former minister should compensate the claimant 2 000 euros for moral damages and cover court expenses in the amount of 2 167 euros.

Now, the case has been returned to the Riga Regional Court to be retried.

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