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Friday 24.11.2017 | Name days: Velta, Velda
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Opinion: can an official survive in Latvia without Lembergs?

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe general impression in Latvia is that most politicians believe that life without Aivars Lembergs would mean the same as what is implied in by Christianity – living without God means subjecting oneself to hell.

Perhaps Latvian politicians also think that it is better to not live is such a ‘hell’ and instead believe what ‘paradise’ can give them. In such a case, you would not be a ‘political prostitute’, ‘corrupted politician’ or even ‘an international criminal’ in Lembergs’ eyes. Those were just some of the things Lembergs loves to mention in relation to his opponents.

Lembergs’ influence on many of Latvia’s politicians hardly surprises anyone at this point. However, it is rumoured that Saeima’s parliamentary committee for the investigation of the infamous oligarch case has members loyal to Lembergs. If this is true, it is worth considering just how «high and mighty» he is.

On Monday, 11 September, Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš announced that there are four people associated with Lembergs or his family that take active part in the parliamentary investigation. According to Kaimiņš, such a situation means open mocking of Latvia’s society.

Spitting the face of Latvia’s society can also be attributed to journalist, member of Latvian Association of Journalists and the National Alliance, Riga City Council member candidate Imants Liepiņš, who, it seems, is not shy to apply for Saeima’s Parliamentary Investigative Committee and voice his readiness to voice proposals on how to best «improve Latvia’s information space free of propaganda and false news».

Can Liepiņš, someone who worked at Neatkarīgā, which is owned by the company associated with Lembergs’ family through the brother of his son’s wife, truly be objective? I would like to say yes, by his trendy articles more often than not played in Lembergs’ favour.

The journalist’s argument than he has worked in multiple media outlets throughout his career is meant to propose that he can retain neutrality while working in NA, LAJ and Neatkarīgā newspaper. But what about the book that is not even dedicated to Lembergs, but rather Ukraine? In it, Liepiņš still manages to cram in his praise and loyalty for Lembergs.

«Here is a good example: since 1999, there have been many attempts in our country to sentence one of the most successful mayors in prison. He won three criminal cases until the corrupt prosecutor compiled 200 volumes of criminal materials against him and submitted all that to court. This last criminal case has been in court for five years already, and the mayor, who is one of the most popular and one of the wealthiest politicians in the country to be considered an oligarch, continues repeating time and time again: In the eyes of the law, I am no different than any other citizen! Trials should be held in accordance with the law. The court process should not be made a farce and be performed at the expense of state money!

Ukraine laughs and turns its head around in disbelief. He does not understand»

Yes, this was written by Imants Liepiņš. The very same Liepiņš who advised Inguna Sudraba to meet with Edgars Jansons: his name was mentioned in oligarch talks. Jansons was invited by the parliamentary committee as an expert. This means his opinion should have been neutral; at least that was the initial goal. But how can he be neutral if Jansons was once the head of the company that was partially owned by Lembergs?

It is also worth keeping in mind that Kaimiņš also mentioned that Aivars Borovkovs, who signed a contract with Lembergs on the purchase of shares in 1993, is also involved in committee’s work. Borovkovs was also the head of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s public advisory council in the past.

One other consultant for the committee is Aldis Alliks, who was paid money as Anrijs Lembergs’ attorney.

Can’t you even live in Latvia without Lembergs’ presence and his spies? When Kaimiņš presented his proof and ties to the parliamentary committee, it seemed more likely that Sudraba was more worried about Kaimiņš submitting the evidence, rather than information detailed in the evidence.

Saeima has 100 members. Is there really not a single one among them who can lead this committee and not be associated with Lembergs at the same time?


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