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Wednesday 24.05.2017 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Lembergs continues prolonging court process; prosecutors concerned

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAivars Lembergs’ criminal case remains in court for the ninth year. The past seven months have been spent solely on listening to Aivars Lembergs’ testimony. Prosecutors are concerned that the accused may be using his testimony to prolong the court process, as reported by Latvijas Radio about the state of the criminal case and prosecutors’ opinion of it.

Prosecutors have amended charges a little bit in the criminal case revolving around Aivars Lembergs. The accused believes prosecutors are the ones who have been delaying the court process for years. Prosecutors, on the other hand, say: «The court is not the party that breaches the established term. Aivars Lembergs is the one who breaches the term.»

Lembergs has noted on Twitter that prosecutors have softened the charges against him and part of the charges has been lifted completely. «Thereby charges have been left considerably flatter». Lembergs added that this is the third variant of the charges presented in the past nine years and that prosecutors have been delaying the case for years.

One of the representatives of the prosecutors group, Janis Ilsteris, has confirmed the fact that charges have been amended. He added that changes are not significant in his opinion, and Lembergs still stands accused of serious breaches of the Criminal Law.

Only five sections of the charges against Lembergs have been excluded. There are still 200 decisions left, so there have not been any major changes, said the prosecutor.

Lembergs remains accused of participating in property transactions, which is something Lembergs is not allowed to do because of his official post. The only change here is the qualification from Part 2 of Section 326 to Part 1 of the same section, because Lembergs had committed criminal acts as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board, Ilsteris notes.

He explains that charges were amended last year as well. This was done because it was decided to exclude repetition from regulations of the Criminal Law. Because of that, charges had to be changes. «The prosecutor’s office has the right to do that before the end of the judicial investigation. This does not have any impact on reasonable terms. It is a normal process performed in full accordance with requirements of the Criminal Law,» Ilsteris concludes.

«I’ve not had any cases in my experience when the accused testified for so long. What we see here is Lembergs going off on long and pointless speeches. The court has asked him multiple times to testify on events related to the case. He keeps ignoring the court’s requests,» Ilsteris said in his interview to Latvijas Radio.

The prosecutor believes what the accused is trying to accomplish is prevent the court from reviewing the case within reasonable terms.

He adds: «It’s not the court that breaches allowed terms – it’s Lembergs.»

Meanwhile, the court continues listening to Lembergs’ testimony.

The court notes that a new redaction of charges against Lembergs was presented on Monday, 24 April. Because of that, the court declared a break until 8 May.

Lembergs is accused of bribery is especially large amounts, money laundering, fraud, participation in property deals prohibited to him due to his post, abuse of official power and other crimes.

In addition to Lembergs, other suspects in this case include his son Anrijs and the aforementioned Sormulis. All three deny their guilt in the crimes they are accused of.

The case is compiled in 200 volumes and two criminal processes that were submitted to court by the prosecutor’s office in the second half of 2008.


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