In exchange for the Greens and Farmers‘ (ZZS) support on Thursday, May 17, in the vote for the European Union Fiscal Discipline Treaty, in negotiations behind the scenes Unity‘s leaders promised to slow down the new amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law. These amendments would be a “death penalty” to the “chief” of ZZS Aivars Lembergs as they would allow his prosecutors in Latvian court to obtain testimonies which the oligarch bore in the court of London about the actual amount of his properties.
The Latvian government accepted the EU fiscal discipline treaty on February 28, while Saeima conceptually supported it in the first reading on May 17. 68 deputies voted for the draft law – coalition of Unity, Reform Party and National Alliance, as well as Greens and Farmers, while 26 deputies of Harmony Center voted against it. To pass the law Saeima needs support of at least two thirds of deputies, that is, at least 67, therefore behind the scenes Unity “traded” with ZZS already for several months, according to the information in hands of the portal Pietiek.com.
Sources in the coalition, which do not represent Unity, admitted the Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said the vote “was expensive”, but the coalition partners were not informed about the real price of the vote. In informal negotiations the coalition’s politicians admitted that, in order to get the vote, Unity promised ZZS not to touch its members in free ports of Riga and Ventspils what, for example, by Reform Party was accepted as a rule to block the question until the Fiscal Discipline Treaty is passed.
Now it appeared that boards of free ports was not the only object of trade between Unity and ZZS. In negotiations behind the scenes, with participation of, according to the portal’s information, the head of the Unity Saeima faction Dzintars Zakis and member of the regional party For Latvia and Ventpils Guntis Blumbergs who is said to be the “right hand” of Aivars Lembergs, the Prime Minister’s party promised to “slow down” some of its deputies who were actively participating in development of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law.
New amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law are being prepared in order to facilitate the opportunity to use testimonies of Aivars Lembergs to the London’s court about the real amount of his properties in order to prove accusations in the lawsuit which is being adjudicated in the Riga Regional Court already from February 2009.
The amendments, if they overcome legal and political discussions and are passed, are expected to refer to the section 455 of the Criminal Procedure Law regulating procedural rights in adjudication procedure. The main idea is to provide an opportunity to the prosecutor to require information and documents, if there appear new evidence during the adjudication procedure. At the same time similar rights will be provided to the defense.
Prosecutors of the so called Lembergs’ case, which is being adjudicated in the Riga Regional court, have suspicion that in the period after May 1999 Lembergs has been violating restrictions of the state official and made decisions in the board of Vetspils Free Port about companies to which he is related through offshore companies as their beneficiary.