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Monday 23.10.2017 | Name days: Daina, Dainida, Dainis

“Lembergs’ case”: Grasmane forgot why she was sending out orders worth millions

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIs it possible for a person to send out orders worth millions from an e-mail address and then fall ill with sudden memory loss? It is possible. This sort of thing happened to an administrator of a Ventspils transit business company Gita Grasmane, who was interrogated this Thursday in regard to acts of bribery tied to Aivars Lembergs’ criminal process and the so-called „scholars list”.

This long-standing employee, also known as “5% fund accountant” (it was her computer that contained Excel files that held information regarding scholars nicknames, abbreviations and money transfer data) could not explain how and why a number of cyphered payment orders were sent from her e-mail address to foreign countries.

The prosecutor’s office believes that money from Ventspils transit business companies was transferred to offshore companies and later divided among actual beneficiaries, including those considered suspects in the aforementioned criminal process.

Prosecutor Juris Juriss has told journalists that payment orders that were sent from Grasmane’s e-mail address were of considerable amount of money, some amount were as much as several millions of dollars. Grasmane, however, could not remember if she had, indeed, sent these e-mail messages. Even if she had, this was most likely ordered by her superior – Laimons Junkers, Delfi reports.

It should be noted that Laimonis Junkers, who is considered the cashier of Lembergs and his group, died in 2009 from heart failure. According to testimonies from his associates, he was responsible for the so-called 5% fund revenue and expenses. He was also allegedly involved in bribing politicians.

Lists acquired by the prosecutor’s office contain names and abbreviations for Zemnieks, ZZS, Pleskavas šoseja, Zaļie, J.P., D.P., ZZS, Zvaigznīšu brīdis, Mācītāji, Krāsotājs, Āpsis, Izkapts, Šoferis, Arājs, J.Lor., V.Krišt, A.G. and V.Birk.

In 2007, Junkers was held suspect in the Ventspils officials’ case. However, he then disappeared from Latvia shortly after. Authorities launched an international manhunt for him. In 2009, it became known that Junkers died from heart failure in Paraguay. His remains were buried in Ventspils. The Mayor of Ventspils attended his funeral as well.

Krists Skuja died the same year. He was considered one of Lembergs’ “black money” financial coordinator and the person who maintained Lembergs’ ties to politicians.

Information compiled by BNN ( shows that at least 13 people close to Aivars Lembergs had died during his “rule”. 33 out of 102 witnesses have been interrogated so far in Lembergs’ criminal case. Nine witnesses are currently being interrogated. 12 witnesses out of 102 are dead.

In her testimony, Grasmane stated that Junkers had poor computer skills. She herself says she rarely sends e-mails; prefers fax. Prosecutor’s office states e-mails were being sent regularly from Grasmane’s address. When asked about the contents of said messages, Grasmane said she did not go through them.

She could not explain to the court who had compiled those payment orders and how they ended up in her computer. She also stated it is unknown for her why her workstation was used to send out payment orders to other companies, Delfi reports.

Officially Grasmane’s Ventspils ekspedīcija loģistika KS company handles administrative activities.

The criminal case of the so-called “scholars” is still being handled by the prosecutor’s office since 2006. Abbreviations mentioned in lists and nicknames that seem rather similar to names of actual politicians and officials. However, this little fact does not prevent them from working in government, participating in election and receive salaries from the state budget. This will likely continue until the court rules out the guilty. Grasmane has spent almost six months in prison. He is currently held suspect. One of the central figures in this criminal case is Aivars Lembergs. He is believed to be the mastermind behind the division of money that goes through the 5% fund.


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