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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Investigative committee’s conclusion: too often interviews turn into pointless rambling

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe parliamentary investigative committee in charge of oligarchs case until now has failed to achieve its objective, says deputy Andrejs Judins.

«Opinions given by experts and interviewed people often steer attention away from reaching Saeima’s given objective. Too often interviews turn into pointless discussions and we fail to identify and investigate signs of state capture,» the politician told the media.

The question about the Constitution being at risk only demonstrated the committee’s inability to find experts of constitutional rights, said the deputy. He says that instead of reserving this matter until it is possible to invite experts, it was initially planned to invite lawyers. Even interviews of the people involved in Ridzene talks have not been fruitful so far. For example, Ainārs Šlesers did not provide any answers to the questions he was asked, said Judins.

He adds that the committee has serious planning problems. «Planning only became more or less a priority when I said we should interview at least 15 more people. There is not a lot of time left to interview, and there are many of them. On top of that, there haven’t been many discussions about acquired testimonies so far,» adds the deputy.

Inguna Sudraba’s proposed interview plan seems unrealistic to Judins. He mentioned today’s meeting as an example. It was proposed to invite not only Aivars Lembergs, but also Dainis Liepiņš, Jānis Dūklavs and Juris Gulbis. It is proposed to provide Lembergs’ interview process one hour and 30 minutes to all others. «Looking at the current practice, when interviewed people are given unlimited time to speak, I have concerns that Lembergs may not fit into the small time-frame proposed for him, let alone answer questions,» says Judins.

After working with documents detailing oligarchs criminal case and other materials, Judins became certain that assumptions about state capture attempts in Latvia will be confirmed in the end. Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has compiled a very large case, which contains materials that prove suspicions about criminal acts, and explicitly points to political corruption and abuse of official power, adds Judins.

«At the same time, it has been revealed that not all people whose activities who hold important information were interviewed by KNAB. Investigators did not use all opportunities available to them to gain evidence. State capture is not a term included in the Criminal Law. Nevertheless, it is associated with certain activities that are punishable by law,» says the deputy.

Regulations do not permit publishing materials after the end of criminal cases. Still, publication of certain documents does align with public interests. «This case is not just about what happened six years ago – it is also associated with modern state administration,» says the politician.

«Matters raised by both the published Ridzene talks and the parliamentary investigative committee’s work are equally important for society – they clearly point to political processes in Latvia and who is to blame. Media in Latvia is influenced by certain people who want to gain personal benefits at the expense of society. Because of that, those media are unable to offer society objective information about processes that take place in the country. This creates risks when residents accept state capture processes. I would like to emphasize – state capture in a long-term is only possible if society allows dishonest politicians to use elections as a platform to influence economic and political processes,» says Judins.


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