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Tuesday 23.01.2018 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta

Sudraba tried clarifying facts about oligarch case in an informal talk at a restaurant

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUInguna Sudraba, head of Saeima’s oligarch case investigation committee, met with Edgars Jansons, whose name was mentioned in the so-called oligarch talks, in a restaurant in Riga to «confirm that everything is the opposite to what was mentioned in talks», as reported by Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

As reported by the programme, the meeting is associated with the part of the secret conversations in which infamous Ventspils resident Aivars Lembergs, former politician Ainars Slesers and Vice-Mayor of Riga Andris Ameriks were discussing developments at Riga Freeport in October 2010.

Lembergs complained about giving [then the CEO of Riga Freeport Leonids] Loginovs a bribe of EUR 30,000 to allow companies indirectly owned by Lembergs’ children to rent tugboats and work at the port. Lembergs also said that this ‘deal’ did not bring him any profit, whereas the port wanted half a million from the company. Ameriks promised to «sort things out», according to deciphered talks.

Report of the State Audit on activities performed at Riga Freeport mentions that because of the Competition Council’s restriction, the freeport is not allowed to use Santa and Stella tugboats on its own.

Loginovs had rented out tugboats to LSF Holding’s owned Amberholdings in Liepaja without first performing procurement for three months. Both companies are owned by Lembergs’ children. The contract was signed for a high enough price for the port not to allow competing companies enter the port. However, Amberholdings performed work at the port without paying rent. Lembergs revealed in the talks in Ridzene hotel that his children refuse to recognize the debt because Loginovs was paid a bribe in advance.

Ameriks claimed that no bribe was paid in the end. He said there was only an agreement in place. Lembergs said he has no interests in the port. He did as Ameriks for help in settling the matter, because his children now have a considerable debt to pay.

The freeport still has not recovered a debt of EUR 700,000. This is because Amberholdings applied for insolvency and was liquidated in March 2017.

According to De Facto, this episode of oligarch talks has caused quite a stir. This is why LSF holding’s former chairman Jansons has met with Sudraba in a restaurant.

Sudraba mentioned at this meeting that it is informal and that it was needed to better understand what was spoken at the oligarch talks. «This conversation was my initiative. Edgars Jansons was recommended to me as an honest man who has always opposed corruption. And he denies giving a bribe on behalf of the company. I was advised to meet with him to confirm everything is opposite to what was said in those talks,» said Sudraba.

She claims the former LSF holding’s chairman was not told anything that was revealed to her as the head of the investigative committee. Sudraba still has no access to official secrets.

Nekā personīga reports that the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau sanctioned the recording of talks at Ridzene Hotel in February 2009. Judges of the Supreme Court of Latvia permitted it. A week later, information leaked from KNAB and Slesers found out about the plan.

Because of that, Slesers stopped organizing meetings in the hotel. Although rooms were changed, KNAB continued keeping an eye on participants and listening in on conversations.


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  1. Zerry says:

    Why nobody’s grilling Mr. Ameriks? Once I had a dream that it’s between extremely difficult and impossible to win any big tenders in Riga if you’re not…. let’s say close friend to Ameriks. But huh, it was only a dream and Ameriks can continue pretending a saint. Anyway, someone should clean up that managemental mess in Riga freeport. It is not a playground of old men but should bring benefits to city and country. Nobody is brave enough for that work, or maybe it’s not healthy?

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