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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Danish special services tapped into Lembergs' phone conversations; one more witness may be dead

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The prosecutor's office has come forth with new evidence in the so-called Lembergs criminal case. It has been requested to add this evidence to the case. The evidence itself consists of numerous audio recordings of conversations of all of accused – Aivars Lembergs, Anrijs Lembergs and Ventspils transit business manager Ansis Sormulis.The prosecutor’s office has come forth with new evidence in the so-called Lembergs criminal case. It has been requested to add this evidence to the case. The evidence itself consists of numerous audio recordings of conversations of all of accused – Aivars Lembergs, Anrijs Lembergs and Ventspils transit business manager Ansis Sormulis.

The audio recordings were made by Danish special services. Cooperation with them was organized by the Latvian Constitution Protection Bureau. The Supreme Court of Latvia allowed the coordination, LETA reports.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the accused were not the only ones to participate in the conversations. There were also a number of individuals who are regarded as witnesses in the Lembergs criminal case.

“These recordings prove the accused Aivars Lembergs’ and his son’s property rights for multiple foreign and Latvian companies,” – says prosecutor Juris Juriss.

Prosecutors are unsure how the court plans to assess the findings. According to them, this is the first time in their practice when Aivars Lembergs confirmed his ownership of shares in different companies, something he has rigorously denied up until now. Companies like Ventbunkers, Latvijas naftas tranzīts and Ostas flote. This evidence proves that Lembergs’ children are tied to these structures. It can be concluded from the recordings that Aivars Lembergs and Ansis Sormulis both knew about the money laundering scheme, participated in its development, proposed and approved it, LETA reports.

“In these recordings, Lembergs clearly mentions his ownership. He also explains the definition of a beneficiary, the role of his family members and who actually owns those specific companies,” – he adds.

The prosecutor emphasizes the fact that these audio recordings provide additional proof to the testimony of a number of witnesses. The fact that the voices on the recordings match those of the aforementioned individuals has been confirmed by experts. Judging from the fragments of the recordings that were presented during the hearing, the main topic of the meeting was the ownership over Ventbunkers and possible changes to its management structure. Aivars Lembergs is very evasive in his comments about this situation: “I don’t know that. I don’t know if that ever happened. But…if…it it did happen, then it was. I may have said a couple of bad words,” – he says.

Prosecutor Juriss, says these recordings confirm the testimony of witnesses. “People have previously testified and openly said that Lembergs and his children own this and that in some company. Now this is further proven by the audio evidence. The recordings have Lembergs openly discuss this. This is big. His lawyers were very aggressive in regard to, say, Janis Blazevics. They hoped to ruin his testimony about him once selling something to Lembergs that somehow related to Ventbunkers. In the recorded conversation, however, Lembergs himself openly discusses the amount of money he was going to offer Janis Blazevic for his share at Ventbunkers. They talked about 50 million,” – Juris noted.

He says that he has never denied being a shareholder of Ventbunkers. The prosecutor believes Lembergs’ influence over such companies is much larger than he cares to admit.

The next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13.

So far 33 witnesses out of 102. 9 more witnesses are being interrogated at the moment. 8 witnesses are dead.

Another important fact was uncovered – Aivars Lembergs had once called up Aigars Kalvitis – then the Prime Minister. The prosecutor’s office believes this shows just how far Lembergs’ reach can go.

According to unofficial information, one more witness in this criminal case has passed away – Juris Skibelis, LETA reports. The prosecutor’s office has yet to give an official statement. Nevertheless, according to one of Lembergs’ defendants, Skibelis is dead. Prosecutor Juriss once mentioned that Skibelis is one of the witnesses who testified against Ansis Sormulis. Juriss does not believe that the death of Skibelis will negatively impact the case, because he was interrogated many times before in order to make sure there is enough proof to base a strong accusation.

As previously reported by BNN, during the «rule» of Aivars Lembergs, 13 deaths have been registered in his circle. Most of them were sudden or strange, but often both sudden and strange.


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