Even though lawyer Vineta Čukste reported in the evening of July 24 that the English Court decided to levy the litigation costs from the plaintiffs in favour of the accused Aivars Lembergs, nothing real has been decided in the Court just yet. On top of that, Lembergs, most likely, will not be able to avoid neither the next Court hearing, which is set for July 31, nor the English Court’s issued international arrest of his assets, Pietiek.com information states.
Contrary to Lembergs’ hopes, the Commercial Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice did not make a final decision neither on concluding the litigation against the Mayor of Ventspils nor the withdrawal of the international arrest of Lembergs’ assets.
Antonio Gramsci Shipping Corporation, a daughter company of the Latvian Shipping company (LSC), and other companies related to (LSC) freight deals serve as the plaintiffs in the litigation. It is believed that, most likely, millions were stolen from LSC daughter companies during Lembergs’ management, through vessel freighting contracts. Lembergs’ is presented with a claim for the return of 135 million dollars.
Based on a precedent in another case, Lembergs managed to make sure that on July 12 the English court made the decision that the judging of Lembergs in this case is not within the jurisdiction of the English court. But even though Lembergs widely spread this fact in the media, his hoy was short-lived: the LSC daughter companies challenged this beneficial decision and submitted a request to the court for an appeal of the court’s judgement.
Meanwhile, according to the information from many sources related to this case, the English court began interviewing both sides of the conflict on July 24 about the recovery of legal costs by the request of Lembergs’ defenders. Chances that the court will decide in Lembergs’ favour and several hundred thousand GBP will be recovered from the plaintiff – several LSC daughter companies – are, so far, are not clear. As it was stated, even Čukste admitted that so far there is no specific amount.
In addition, Lembergs’ chances of concluding the 135 million dollar case were seriously undermined by another decision of the High court: based on a precedent of which the court previously decided that the judging of Lembergs is not within the jurisdiction of the English court. The High court accepted the appeal in the VTB proceedings against Nutritek, in which a similar issue from a judicial standpoint is being reviewed: specifically about the High court’s jurisdiction on judging a citizen of a foreign country.
According to the sources, this means that the appeal of the daughter companies of LSC will also be accepted. With that, it is possible to predict that Lembergs will not be able to avoid this case any time soon and the arrest of his assets will remain in force.