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Ceturtdiena 22.03.2018 | Name days: Tamāra, Dziedra

Court penalizes Lembergs for not testifying on the subject matter

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga Regional Court has applied sanctions – a fine of EUR 380 – against criminally accused Aivars Lembergs for his attempts to derail his testimony on the subject matter.

Court’s press-representative Raimonds Locmelis reports that the accused – Ansis Sormulis and Anrijs Lembergs – provided on 12 May their testimony in relation to the new charges against them. Lembergs has begun testifying as well.

The court has since applied procedural sanctions against Lembergs. It is mentioned in the court’s ruling that «the accused Lembergs began testifying in the criminal process in October 2016. Ever since he began testifying there have been many instances when the court had to interject and remind him to provide information related to the case at hand, not analyse the charges raised against him and look for inconsistencies in them.»

The regional court notes that in spite of Lemgergs attempts to avoid giving his testimony, judges have noticed that he continues breaching rules of etiquette and behaviour by making sharp statements against other sides involved in the process. With that, the court has concluded that Lembergs openly ignores requirements put forth by the court. Therefore the court has decided to apply sanctions – a fine of EUR 380.

This ruling is not subject to appeal.

Prosecutors have amended charges a little bit in the criminal case revolving around Aivars Lembergs. The accused believes prosecutors are the ones who have been delaying the court process for years. Prosecutors, on the other hand, say: «The court is not the party that breaches the established term. Aivars Lembergs is the one who breaches the term.»

One of the representatives of the prosecutors group, Janis Ilsteris, has confirmed the fact that charges have been amended. He added that changes are not significant in his opinion, and Lembergs still stands accused of serious breaches of the Criminal Law.

Only five sections of the charges against Lembergs have been excluded. There are still 200 decisions left, so there have not been any major changes, said the prosecutor.

Lembergs remains accused of participating in property transactions, which is something Lembergs is not allowed to do because of his official post. The only change here is the qualification from Part 2 of Section 326 to Part 1 of the same section, because Lembergs had committed criminal acts as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board, Ilsteris notes.

He explains that charges were amended last year as well. This was done because it was decided to exclude repetition from regulations of the Criminal Law. Because of that, charges had to be changes. «The prosecutor’s office has the right to do that before the end of the judicial investigation. This does not have any impact on reasonable terms. It is a normal process performed in full accordance with requirements of the Criminal Law,» Ilsteris concludes.

«I’ve not had any cases in my experience when the accused testified for so long. What we see here is Lembergs going off on long and pointless speeches. The court has asked him multiple times to testify on events related to the case. He keeps ignoring the court’s requests,» Ilsteris said in his interview to Latvijas Radio.

The prosecutor believes what the accused is trying to accomplish is prevent the court from reviewing the case within reasonable terms.

He adds: «It’s not the court that breaches allowed terms – it’s Lembergs.»

Meanwhile, the court continues listening to Lembergs’ testimony.

Lembergs is accused of bribery is especially large amounts, money laundering, fraud, participation in property deals prohibited to him due to his post, abuse of official power and other crimes.

In addition to Lembergs, other suspects in this case include his son Anrijs and the aforementioned Sormulis. All three deny their guilt in the crimes they are accused of.

The case is compiled in 200 volumes and two criminal processes that were submitted to court by the prosecutor’s office in the second half of 2008.


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