«As a result of the most extensive criminal proceeding Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs could face a sentence of seven years in prison at the very least. I say this as a public prosecutor. We will see what the court decides», – transit operator Valentins Kokalis points.
Whereas when asked about whether Lembergs character led him to his current conflicts, Kokalis said in an interview to Playboy: “a dictator does not create oneself, dictators are cultivated by others». Kokalis does not try to hide that he too feels responsible: «I should have always told the truth in the eyes. I tried as much as I could. But it seemed like everyone were flattering him: oooh, Aivars, how did you come up with it! What an ingenious idea this is! I figured him out thanks to my years of experience as an investigator – he really does not like when people are above him. And this quality of his could have been used.»
Kokalis admits that he founded the first hunting club in Latvia with Lembergs – Metras 1. When asked whether he was involved in something against the law, the businessman pointed that his credo is «never break the law», but he did not hide that some politicians were sponsored. «Yes, during every election event. The Prosecutor’s Office knows about this. I even have a notebook with dates; saying when and who came to us, how much they asked, and what every party looked like from the inside and which firms transferred the money. We did not pay money to politicians; we sponsored parties, or paid for their adverts. We did not break the law; it allowed sponsoring or ordering advertisements. Whether or not it was ethical – that is a question of debate indeed», – Kokalis says.
He even noted during his interview to the magazine that the so called Lembergs’ List of Scholars were real. «Of course they are. I will not say which Saeima Chairman received a bursary at the time, it was rather fatty – a thousand LVL per month!», – Kokalis admits.
When asked whether it was possible for the Ventspils pipe to not be dry now, Kokalis pointed that «of course it was possible». «Ventspils would have blossomed and so would we! Rudolf Meroni claimed that many times in his interviews. By the way, he represents Latvia’s interests better than any good Latvian», – Kokalis says.
Even though Kokalis says that Lembergs’ talents are an incredible will to work and a great mind, the businessman adds: «he even used his workplace – he was the Chairman of the City Council – the Executive Committee back in the day. After the Committee was dissolved and only the Council remained the law demanded that he leave. I as a Prosecutor went countless times to the tribune and made sure that Kristovskis withdrew his candidature.»
It is known that Lembergs is accused of large scale bribery, money laundering, abuse of power and other crimes. His son – Anrijs Lembergs – is also accused as well as the Ventspils transit business manager Ansis Sormulis.