Aivars Lembergs, Latvian politician accused of major crime, told the media last week that applicants in his London court case have suffered a complete defeat. But the portal Pietiek has got hold of a number of documents related to the case and they suggest that it will be Lembergs himself who will suffer a defeat.
Jakob Hirschbaeck, Lembergs’ lawyer in foreign countries, has testified against him and his children.
Lembergs might be set to receive the decisive blow at the British Commercial Court – a sub-division of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. It has launched proceedings, with the applicant being a subsidiary of AS Latvian Shipping Company (Latvijas Kugnieciba) – Latmar Holdings Corporation (Latmar).
Documents of the court case show that Hirschbaeck has already given testimony.
Latmar suspects that Lembergs defrauded the company out of at least 5 million dollars between 2008 and 2009.
It is exactly because of Latmar claim why Lembergs, his children and associates have been imposed an international asset freeze that totals about 9 million pounds.
Hirschbaeck got involved in offshore networks set up by Lembergs, his family and associates back in 2003. Several persons close to the politician have told Pietiek that Hirschbaeck became the new “trustee” of Lembergs right after the Swiss attorney Rudolf Meroni started testifying against the politician at the Latvian Prosecutor General’s Office.
In fact, it appears that Hirschbaeck was the most important foreign lawyer of Lembergs. His task was to do large-scale offshore business in order to hide the true interests of Lembergs, his children and other persons.
Documents in the hands of Pietiek show that Hirschbaeck’s testimony confirms Lembergs’ involvement in privatization of 38.6% state-owned AS Ventspils Nafta back in October 2006. He also spoke out about an agreement with Vitol subsidiary Euromin Holdings (Cyprus), which became the owner of the Ventspils Nafta shares. Hirschbaeck also points to a number of offshore companies, which were transferred more than 5 million dollars. The amount was allegedly defrauded out of the Latvian Shipping Company’s subsidiary via fake consulting contracts.
Hirschbaeck’s testimony is now being used in the new action that Latmar brings against Lembergs, his children and associates.
The claim has been filed on suspicion of international fraud – unlawful appropriation of Latmar funds. Allegedly, Lembergs’ associates – former managers of the Latvian Shipping Company – established links with offshore networks and entered into sham contracts. Hirschbaeck just like Lembergs and his children is one of the defendants.