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Tuesday 16.01.2018 | Name days: Lida, Lidija
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High Court of England ruling on Lembergs’ asset freeze appealed

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Aivars Lembergs

Riga City Vidzeme Court’s decision on recognizing and enforcing in Latvia the High Court of England and Wales issued ruling on freezing Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs’ assets worth 135 million U.S. dollars (LVL 66.69 mln) has been appealed against at Riga District Court.

The District Court’s Office Manager Ingars Sprukts confirmed that Riga District Court had received two additional complaints. Lembergs himself filed one complaint against the June 13 decision to recognize and enforce the court ruling in Latvia.

While the second complaint was filed regarding the plaintiffs – 30 companies that turned to Vidzeme District Court, asking to clarify the June 13 decision. Court of First Appeal refused to do so on July 25. The complaint was filed regarding this decision as well.

Spruksts informed that the judge Daiga Vilsone was set to review in written form both complaints on October 17, without participation of the parties involved in the case.

Back on April 20, High Court of England and Wales ruled that Lembergs is forbidden to transport any of his assets worth up to 135 million U.S. dollars from England or Wales, or in any way get rid of them, operate with them or reduce their value.

The asset freeze applies to all Lembergs’ properties, regardless of whether these assets are listed on other persons’ names, and regardless of whether the assets are separate or joint property. According to the court, the assets include any asset on which the person has direct or indirect power to dispose or power to operate it as their own property.

The ruling would become void, if Lembergs provided a security of 135 million U.S. dollars or ensured a security worth the same amount in other way.

Given that Lembergs is now residing in Latvia, the claim applicants (around 30 companies) wanted to legalize and enforce High Court of England and Wales’ ruling, as well as ensure its execution in Latvia. Riga City Vidzeme District Court granted the request.

Previously, Lembergs expressed a belief that all his property has long been seized; therefore, High Court of England and Wales’ decision to freeze assets belonging to him did not change a thing.

While the plaintiffs’ lawyer Grube said the execution of the June 13 decision is not necessarily a one-off event – the decision is enforceable in a long term, as long as the ruling has not been cancelled. Consequently, even if there is not enough property at the moment, it does not mean that Lembergs could not acquire property in the future, for example, in a form of inheritance, a decent wage, or if his children return the debt, the lawyer said.


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