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Ceturtdiena 20.09.2018 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra
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How is the investigation committee: Sudraba as director, Šlesers as actor and members as the audience?

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe parliamentary investigation committee has started inviting suspects in the oligarch case. One of the central figures facing criminal charges – former politician Ainārs Šlesers – has already testified before the committee. However, according to Andrejs Judins, «Šlesers did not stay on topic and did not answer questions. Instead he focused on presenting his previously prepared speech, which no one interrupted.»

«Šlesers claimed he is prepared to speak in a different format, but he is not prepared to speak in any format. This person does not want to cooperate,» Judins told BNN. He also adds that he had previously agreed to Šlesers’ proposal to meet and discuss the case without journalists, but later received a refusal from him.

Confusion was only increased thanks to Šlesers’ lawyer, who was given permission to speak by the committee’s chairperson Inguna Sudraba. «She permitted him to speak, and he was basically a participant of the discussion. And so we were forced to allow a lawyer partake in the process, which is odd considering the committee’s objective,» Judins says.

This situation appeared because the committee’s work is not organized constructively. This means when Šlesers started evading questions, Sudraba should have interrupted him and asked him to get back on topic. «But in the end Šlesers decided to present his prepared speech, avoiding all of my questions. Because of that, the committee failed to learn anything new,» says Judins.

«This is Šlesers’ position, and unfortunately the situation ended up in such a way that the head of the committee permitted him to act in such a way. Of course, if it is about his private life, he has every right to not testify – everything is logical there. But if questions are asked about processes in the country, about events associated with those times when he worked as the state official, avoidance from answering questions is against the law.»

According to Judins, the mood of committee members is that if someone if given the right to speak, he speaks for as much as he wants. «But such a situation is unacceptable and a waste of time.» He also says that the style of the parliamentary committee could be different. «We should work some more to ensure better information exchange.»

Speaking of it is necessary to invite the people involved in the criminal case, Judins said: «It is clear that an opportunity should be found, because there are many questions. There are not just two surnames mentioned in Oligarch case. It would be the right thing to do is inviting those people and giving them an opportunity to speak their mind. As far as I know, there are some who are sceptical about this idea – let them talk, I say.»

At the same time, the politician says it is necessary to concentrate on making sure that if the invited person does not spend ten minutes beating around the bush, they are quickly asked to stop and instead speak on topic, not wait and hope that it occurs to them.

Judins hopes for Sudraba to change her style: to ensure proper response in situations when people avoid answering questions. «Because it seems members of the committee come to meetings to observe performances of invited people, not to asking useful questions,» he said, adding that it is important to remember who performs the investigation and who is invited over to ask questions.

«It would seem some members of the committee do not agree with this. They believe an invited person does them an honour by showing up, making members of the committee the audience to their theatrical performance.»

Judins does not hide his opinion that results would be different with a different composition of the team.

When asked about materials Judins has gone through so far, he said there is still a lot to go through. He also says information available to him does not leave any doubts about the presence of state capture in Latvia. On top of that, materials provided to the committee also detail other people and other actions.

«Information shows that multiple individuals have used their influence and political capacity to make decisions beneficial to certain, let’s say, economic groups. Economic formations belong to them, their associates and people close to them. Basically the state is used as a source of funding to provide economic benefits to certain people,» said Judins.

When asked if the situation in the country could change, the politician said: «See, we have suspicions that such actions have always been present. Now we have facts, and we can talk about the situation in 2010 and 2011. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many facts about 2016 and 2017.»


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  1. Zerry says:

    Maybe Ms. Sudraba happens to be too close friend to Slesers to perform her duties as it should be done to get the best out of these events?

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