In mid-May, also the Constitutional Court (CC) got involved in the so-called Ventspils transit business war, where Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, millionaires Olafs Berkis, Olegs Stepanovs and Swiss attorney Rudolf Meroni are figthing for influence.
Daimars Skutans, an attorney linked to Meroni’s interests, has addressed the CC, questioning activities of the Supreme Court (SC) Chairman Zigmants Gencs. The application concerns one of the many legal proceedings tied to the so-called Ventspils war, according to the portal Pietiek.
In late March, SC Department of Civil Cases Chairman Gencs filed a protest against Ventspils court ruling. In his application, Skutans challenges consistency of such an action with the Civil Law. The said ruling nullified December 2009 Ventbunkers shareholders meeting held by the so-called Lembergs’ opponents and chaired by Berkis. Skutans also argues that Gencs’ action was not lawful and violated the Civil Law. He points out that only the General Prosecutor’s Office has the right to challenge rulings by courts of lower instances.
The portal found out at the Constitutional Court that the application has been received and its panel will decide on further action in a month’s time. CC spokeswoman Signe Balina pointed out that the application will be reviewed until June 15, when the panel decides whether to forward Skutans’ application to the CC or refuse to launch proceedings.
Indeed, Gencs’ reputation is far from being bright. He recovered the post of Chairman at the SC Department of Civil Cases only thanks to the controversial SC Chairman Ivars Bickovics.
Gencs lost the top post back in 2007 (SC was then chaired by Andris Gulans), after the book Legal Proceedings as a Kitchen (Tiesasanas ka Kekis) came out. Among other things, the book also described a telephone conversation between some “Zigmunds Gents” and lawyer “Arnis Gutups”. During the conversation, which apparently took place after some court hearing, Gents told the lawyer dissatisfied with the ruling:
“I cannot tell that I am sure of this ruling. I would gladly rule the other way around. But everyone is against it, you know …”
Thus, the judge had disclosed the secret jury deliberations. Back then, it was recognized that Gencs had violated the law On Judicial Power and the Ethics Code For Latvian Judges.
The so-called Ventspils war started off in 2005. Initially, Meroni fought against Ventspils Mayor hand in hand with the so-called Lembergs’ opponents. But later, in early 2010, Lembergs’ opponents declared their own war against Meroni. The Swiss attorney was dragged into the war after the Riga Regional Court appointed him as the manager of the state assets arrested in a number of Ventspils transit companies, including Ventbunkers. Allegedly, Lembergs is the secret owner of all these assets.
Both Berkis and Stepanovs dismiss claims that they have reached an agreement with Lembergs but admit that the relationship is no longer as emotional as before.