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Ex-president Berzins and Brigmanis mentioned in illegal party funding case

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe criminal process launched by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau in August on the illegal financing of the Union of Greens and Farmers mentions the names of ex-president Andris Berzins and leader of Saeima faction of UGF Augusts Brigmanis, as reported by Ir magazine.

According to the magazine, ex-president Berzins, as a good neighbour to businessman Julijs Krumins in Sigulda, was possibly entrusted with finding wealth supporters for the party in order to help finance UGF’s pre-election campaign. The law prohibits financing political parties using third parties as mediators.

Brigmanis is mentioned as an official in UGF responsible for finances. He was being kept informed by Jurmala’s Mayor Gatis Truksnis about progress in attracting finances.

It was not possible to contact Berzins to hear his commentary. When asked about this case, Brigmanis was evasive: «I will not mention any specific conversations. As the chairman of UGF, I have a duty to supervise donations». Emphasizing on the fact that the law provides a clear order for donations, Brigmanis noted that any «supporter carries his or her own responsibility» for complying with the law. He claims he knows nothing of Berzins’s possible involvement.

Ir also reports that Krumins’ relationship with Truksnis has also been noted by authorities. KNAB currently investigates whether or not the expensive apartment in Krumins’ apartment complex in Dzintari was a secret reward to Truksnis for his contribution to the realization of that project. Truksnis moved into that apartment this year; KNAB found his belongings during a search. Truksnis does not respond to phone calls. In his interview to Ir, Krumins said he highly values Truksnis’ assistance and that he had offered him to live in the exclusive apartment personally. How Truksnis could afford that is unknown, as his monthly wage is lower than the apartment’s rent.

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