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Monday 23.01.2017 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
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Criminal process associated with Skele to be concluded due to statute of limitations

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe criminal process originally isolated from the digital television criminal case to investigate possible crimes in companies associated with ex-prime minister Andris Skele’s family will be concluded due to statute of limitations, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Last week, the prosecutor’s office mentioned the criminal case under head prosecutor Modris Adlers’ authority regarding the possible crimes committed by actual beneficiaries of Ratcliff Limited and their supporters was still being investigated. The case has no suspects as of yet. No detailed comments were provided.

On Thursday, Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers admitted the case would be closed due to statute of limitations. This case details events that took place at the beginning of 2000.

«This process should conclude because its timeframe has long since ended. As far as I know, it has yet to be done,» – said Kalnmeiers.

Ratcliff Limited is associated with Skele in the criminal case. Skele tried publicly denying his association with this company. According to documents from the case, Ratcliff Limited owned 25% in British mailbox company Kempmayer Media Limited. In the chain of property rights Ratcliff Limited was below Yew Tree Trust, which was founded by Skele and in which actual beneficiaries were his first wife and daughters.

Skele is a not an accused party in the digital television case. The possibility of him becoming one in the future, however, is not entirely excluded.

The question regarding Skele’s role in the digital television project was kicked up again by the testimony of Janis Loze in court. Up until now Loze has been quiet, hiding behind lawyer-client secrets. At the beginning of November, however, he admitted working in Skele’s interests in the project.

«I was involved in the digital television projects only at Andris Skele’s request,» – Loze said. He emphasized he worked legally and in accordance with his client’s wishes.

As a witness in the case, Skele confirmed that Loze was ‘partially’ representing him in the project.

Prosecutor Monvids Zelcs said after the hearing that no one can be criminally prosecuted over ownership. «If there was any proof of his [Skele] involvement in the signing of the contract, there would be room to consider his prosecution. […] If Loze is unable to justify what he had proposed in his request to invite Skele with documents, everything will remain as it is,» – said Zelcs.

Skele mentioned in court that took no part in the signing of the contract between Kempmayer and the state company: «Your honour, at the time I did not understand a thing from digital television components. 14 years later I have finally managed to understand this and that. My answer is no».

Skele believed there are no written documents detailing his requests to Loze.

The biggest intrigue in this case is the proof in Loze’s hands. He has yet to announce anything.

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