Lembergs emphasized that there are no reasons because of multiple factors. For example, the court declined his verbal requests and did not provide him the opportunity to interview many witnesses.
The accused added that he was unable to ask a single question to businessman Julijs Krumins. The court also refused to allow him to interview witness Oleg Stepanov. Lembergs said the same in regards to the interviewing of Olafs Berkis – he had no opportunities to ask questions, and his lawyer was not allowed to finish his interview.
Lembergs finally began testifying after the court decided to decline his request.
He began testifying in the episode about the privatization of Naftas parks, ironizing about the supposedly realized materials interests.
Lembergs testified on Monday on one of the points of the accusation, specifically the decision in regards to the privatization of Naftas parks. The accused explained that the decision only covered the sale of the municipality’s owned shares. There was no mention of who to sell the shares – «to Lembergs, Lembergs’ family, Lembergs’ chums».
He also mentioned that the prosecutor’s office had noticed his personal interests in this decision. «How could I make income from the city council selling its owned shares? It’s possible to come up with a story, but the prosecution had to come up with a story, in which I was the beneficiary,» – said Lembergs.
According to Lembergs, the prosecution emphasizes that he [Lembergs] had taken part in the decision-making process. «Yes, but what is illegal about that?» – Lembergs rhetorically asked, saying that privatization is legal activity. He added that the city council’s decision was public, not secret.
Lembergs explained that the head of the city council makes decisions in the form of an official order, but the prosecution did not mention any official orders.
As it is known, Anrijs Lembergs testified in the previous court hearing.
At the end of June, prosecutors finished reading amended charges in this criminal case. Amended charges are compiled on 260 pages.
During the august session Lembergs said he did not have enough time to read through the new charges. He explained that his lawyer was on vacation when the new charges were presented. Lembergs requested the court to provide additional time to go through the new charges. The court gave him three weeks.
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.