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Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Prosecutor: court’s investigation of Lembergs’ criminal case is taking too long

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe court currently views testimonies of witnesses in Aivars Lembergs’ criminal case, which ended up in court for the first time in September 2018. The most optimistic expectation states that spring 2017 is the fastest, when one would expect of summary judgement in this case, Delfi reports.

What is the state of Lembergs’ case at the moment?

Riga Regional Court began viewing this case anew in August 2009. Due to the complexity of the case, it is viewed by judges Boriss Geimanis, Irina Jansone and Ligita Kuzmane. Arija Zdanova is a reserve judge in this case.

There are currently three accused in this criminal case – Ansis Sormulis, Aivars Lembergs and Anrijs Lembergs.

After providing their testimony, Sormulis and Anrijs Lembergs both refused to answer prosecutors’ questions. Prosecutor Juris Juriss told Delfi, that Sormulis never finished testifying in the case. He decided to provide additional written testimony.

Anrijs Lembergs, on the other hand, has finished testifying before the court.

Aivars Lembergs is the one currently testifying in this case. It is currently unknown if Lembergs agrees to answer the prosecutor’s questions. He has the right to refuse.

What else is expected?

After receiving testimonies, the court will decide on ending the investigation and beginning court debates. To prepare for that, participants of the case can request additional time. Prosecutor Juris Juriss predicts additional time will be requested.

Prosecutors will be the first to speak in court debates. The next in line are the victims or their representatives. Only then will the accused will be given the right to speak. It is possible to submit speeches to the court in writing. The court debates are the time and place for prosecutors to speak about applicable punishment.

The accused are doing all they can to delay the process

When asked about any predictions and progress in the court process, the prosecutor told Delfi that «predictions are ungrateful things, because they can be influenced by multiple factors». The prosecutor did not hide that he and his colleagues believe the accused are doing all they can to delay the process.

One great example of this is the reading of Aivars Lembergs’ written testimony in regards to the accusation of him breaching Section 325 of the Criminal Law.

«To delay the progress of the court investigation, he tells the court long and winded stories that the decisions he had taken part in making, even though he was prohibited by law from doing that, were necessary and economically sound and that others were happy for them and so on. Of course, he mentions nothing about any conflicts of interest in making those decisions,» – Juriss explained.

The court has scolded the accused for abusing their rights on multiple occasions throughout the investigation of this criminal case.

It is hardtop predict what happens next

Considering the aforementioned factors in this criminal case, it is incredibly hard to predict what happens next. When asked to at least provide any provisional dates, Juriss said the end of the year or the beginning of the next is believable for the start of court debates.

In regards to the progress of the court process, Juriss confirmed that the court’s viewing of the criminal case involving Aivars Lembergs is definitely taking too long.

«It is our opinion. The court agrees with it whenever the accused attempt to delay the viewing of the case. There are plenty of reasons: processing of unreasonable requests from the accused, repetition of previously clarified and answered questions from the accused and voicing of questions that are not related to the case at all. There is also the involvement of lawyers in other court processes. In addition, Lembergs wishes to interview at least ten witnesses. There have been hearings in which he had submitted 20 requests in a single time,» – the prosecutor comments on previous court hearings.


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