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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta
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Prospects: power or prison?

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Ainars Slesers and Aivars Lembergs

In the near future, the Prosecutor General’s office may decide on launching criminal prosecution against the prime minister candidates Ainars Slesers (Slesers Reform Party – LFP/LW) and Aivars Lembergs (Greens and Farmers Union). BNN conducted a survey of experts on how real is the possibility that the Latvian oligarchs will be really prosecuted?

According to the portal Pietiek.com, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) will complete the probe in «oligarchs’ case» in the following weeks. A separate criminal process was launched from this case regarding suspicions of bribery, where Lembergs and Slesers were allegedly involved last autumn.

We remind that previously it was suggested that Slesers secured his party member Andris Ameriks’ appointment as the chairman of Riga Free Port’s Board. To achieve this, he turned to Lembergs for support. In return, Slesers had to ensure that Riga Free Port concludes agreement with Lembergs influenced SIA Mediju nams on the Free Port’s advertising placement in print media owned by Mediju nams.

There is a possibility that charges will be brought against both oligarchs: against Slesers for possible bribery, but against Lembergs – for allegedly receiving bribes in the third party’s interests.

Lato Lapsa, co-owner of the portal Pietiek.com, assured BNN that his information sources at law enforcement institutions have provided enough information for him to presume a launch of a separate criminal proceeding against the above mentioned persons. He also specified that the criminal proceeding is already underway; the question is whether the prosecutor’s office will decide in favour of initiating the prosecution of oligarchs. «My prediction is yes – they will decide on this. The prospects of initiating a criminal prosecution are real. Yet the issue to be questioned in Latvia is the court ruling, as the Latvian court system is a very special thing and hence it is impossible to know the outcome».

Aleksejs Loskutovs, former head of the anti-corruption bureau and Saeima deputy from the party Unity, also believes that the possibility of prosecuting Lembergs and Slesers is real. «The CPCB’s employees are aware of their responsibilities, as well as feel the society’s attention. Nobody would casually rumour about such matters,» Loskutovs emphasized.

While in discussion with BNN correspondent on Slesers and Lembergs criminal prosecution prospects, Juris Reksna, ex-State Secretary of the Interior Ministry and former State Police chief, revealed he does not want to bet on this. «In this regard, I cannot tell how real the possibility of such developments is. It would only be a guess. The society and journalists can only mention something, but assumptions do not apply to the case». Reksna explains the appearance of such materials in the press with the fact that «there is no smoke without fire». «The time will show,» he concluded.


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