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Sunday 16.06.2019 | Name days: Justīne, Juta
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De Facto: mild punishment for ex-deputy Kļaviņš was applied illegally

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe prosecutor’s decision on the application of penalty of 120 hours of community service for the now ex-Saeima deputy Askolds Kļaviņš was made with multiple breaches of the law, as concluded by senior prosecutor Modris Madlers in the case regarding Kļaviņš’s illegally received fuel compensations from the Saeima worth nearly EUR 10,000.

However, this happened too late: prosecutor Arvis Miglāns’ opinion on the appropriate penalty has already been handed for execution – it is not subject for appeal. This means Kļaviņš will not receive a stricter penalty, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Compensation worth EUR 10,000 was received by the ex-deputy thanks to forged documents. After getting caught, he pays back the illegally acquired money, but nothing more. He also worked his community service hours within three weeks. This was the outcome of the criminal case revolving around Askolds Kļaviņš, as reported by lsm.lv.

Saeima’s discredited work, ruined respect for deputies, and general distrust towards the government, as well as damages worth EUR 10,000 for the parliament’s budget. Such were the consequences of what Kļaviņš had done, said prosecutor Arvis Miglāns.

Kļaviņš has fully admitted his guilt. He regrets what he has done, according to materials of the case.

It is detailed in the final verdict that from November 2016 to May 2018 Kļaviņš had submitted nineteen forged documents requesting compensation of the cost of fuel him travelling from Liepaja to the Saeima for work in this period of time. Most of the fuel was used by him not on trips to and from Liepaja, but his personal needs. The verdict details multiple cases when he submitted receipts to the Saeima to cover the costs for his company SIA Gandrs.

Previously, he told investigators of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and journalists that had not done anything wrong. Kļaviņš only admitted his guilt in October, when charges were officially raised against him. He mentioned in a previous telephone conversation: «What do you want from me? You’ve already killed me – I’m a political corpse. I won’t comment anything any more.»

Initially CPCB classified his crime as abuse of official power for personal gain, which is a serious crime. However, the prosecutor’s statement omits greed as a motive. But what was Kļaviņš’s intention with submitting forged documents to the Saeima and getting 600-700 euro compensation every month, then? Prosecutor Miglāns’ explanation is not entirely clear. The main argument for this is that the deputy in question does not admit using forged documents for personal gain.

«Then the case would be submitted to court. This means waste of financial resources on further reviewing of the case. This methodic the investigator noticed – the court would not have accepted it, and there would have been a big dispute. It would have been necessary to organize additional examinations, which would have cost more finances from the state,» says the prosecutor. This is why the ex-deputy’s crime was classified as lighter crime by prosecutor Miglāns.

«The crime committed was more of a fraud using fuel receipts. I can’t speak for others, but I believe the threat of this crime and its effect is not as considerable as the kind it would could have been had the ex-deputy committed a different kind of crime, such as receive financial support in exchange for lobbying some legislative draft against the best interest of society, or something like that. […] As far as I can tell, Kļaviņš’s business is not doing well. He said for the amount he owes he would have to search and borrow. With that, no further discussions were held about the penalty,» said the prosecutor.

The Prosecutor General’s Office also had questions about Miglāns’ decision. Senior Prosecutor Modris Adlers has commenced an investigation regarding the legality of this decision. «This means I will decide if it is necessary to cancel the prosecutor’s statement and send the criminal case for a repeated investigation. This does not mean that by cancelling this decision all others will be cancelled as well. It is already clear that there have been certain violations of the Criminal Process Law and Criminal Law, which is enough to question the prosecutor’s arguments,» said the senior prosecutor.

Adlers later confirmed in a conversation with De Facto that there are certain violations in Miglāns’ decision.


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