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Friday 28.07.2017 | Name days: Cecīlija, Cilda
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Lembergs becomes a suspect in «oligarchs case»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn the so-called oligarchs case, Aivars Lembergs has become a suspect. Authorities believe Lembergs traded influence in that case, as reported by LTV.

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau neither denies nor confirms this information.

Lembergs, on the other hand, has confirmed that KNAB had informed him of change in his status in the criminal case. Nevertheless, Lembergs does not admit his guilt.

According to information from LTV, KNAB had concluded in spring 2011 that Lembergs traded for support of Vice-Mayor of Riga Andris Ameriks becoming a member of the board of Riga Freeport after the previous Vice-Mayor of Riga Ainars Slesers announced his intentions to leave his post in the municipality and Riga Freeport.

KNAB believe Lembergs had initially wanted to have Leonid Loginov, current manager of Riga Freeport, dismissed from his post in exchange for UGF representative Viesturs Silenieks’ vote in favour of Ameriks. This request was not fulfilled, so instead Lembergs later requested Riga Freeport to end its advertisement contract with Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze’s publishing house Mediju nams.

KNAB had initially classified this action as organization of bribery. Now Lembergs’s possible crime is classified differently.

The Criminal Law provides a prison sentence up to five years in prison for trading influence.

Ainars Slesers has also been classified as suspect in this case. The case regarding a bribery attempt, which was launched against Ameriks, has been concluded in this case.

The so-called oligarchs case was launched in 2011 in accordance with sections of the Criminal Law in regard to bribery, money laundering, abuse of official power and breach of restrictions for officials.

Initially there were 11 people involved in this case. KNAB carried out searches in multiple locations in Latvia, including properties owned by influential politicians – Aivars Lembergs property in Puze, Riga City Council, the office of Andris Skele’s family’s owned Uzņēmumu vadība un konsultācijas and other enterprises.

KNAB also carried out searches in the office of Mediju nams publishing house and the office of then the holder of Diena controlling package of shares Viesturs Koziols.

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