bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 18.09.2018 | Name days: Liesma, Elita, Alita
LatviaLatvia

Jurašs: Lembergs to prison – there is too much evidence for a not guilty verdict

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«It is enough for me to know of a small fraction of the evidence against Aivars Lembergs to be confident that he will get a guilty verdict. I don’t really expect any other outcome,» said former investigator of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juris Jurašs in an interview to BNN.

He notes that it is clear that Lembergs is trying to prolong the court process for as long as possible, and he is succeeding. At the same time, Jurašs notes: «It is impossible not to notice just how nervous Lembergs is and how inadequate his behavour has become in communication with the public and in court. The court was forced to apply sanctions to Lembergs multiple times. He is making the process look like a farce – he keeps avoiding questions.»

As for the general situation surrounding Oligarch talks, Jurašs notes that the problem is that the people associated with talks, such as Ainārs Šlesers, Aivars Lembergs and Andris Šķēle did not discuss ways of making important decisions for Latvia’s sake, but rather dividing resources owned by the state among themselves. «Talks detail deep, personal material interests,» says the former KNAB investigator.

Jurašs calls this situation parasitism at the expense of the state and its residents. The aforementioned people only think of their personal interests and ignore public interests.

As for the situation with the parliamentary investigation committee, he says its activity shows Lembergs’ true influence over Latvia’s politics.

«What Lembergs has likely done is make some deputies dependent on him. The only question is – how? Is it because Lembergs found them jobs? Did he provide financial assistance? Or was it something else? These people are reasonable and capable of independent though, I would think. They have to know that the way the parliamentary investigation is being performed is completely unacceptable and amoral. The fact that those people are part of the committee proves Lembergs’ influence – they are not allowed to act differently. This means they do not behave objectively,» Jurašs describes the composition of the committee.

He ironically says that the situation looks to be as though Lembergs is the teacher giving each ‘student’ a task to complete. According to him, there are people part of the committee who are there to protect Lembergs. «It is one more proof of Lembergs rule – he can match committee members to suit his interests and make sure the outcome is favourable for him.»

Jurašs does admit that the initial idea for the formation of the aforementioned committee was welcome; it’s just that the execution was unacceptable. Inguna Sudraba’s appointment as the head of the committee was confusing enough, and Mārtiņš Šics’ changing decisions point towards the possibility of Lembergs’ influence extending more and more to the committee.

According to Jurašs, Sudraba should have declined the offer to take post in the committee, considering that she was mentioned in Oligarch talks. Her remainder in the committee creates a conflict of interests.

He also notes that the current committee is a joke. «The people working in the committee have long since turned away from the matters that were defined at the beginning – assess the risk of state capture and come up with ways to prevent such events from repeating in the future.»

He reminds that the main topic of those talks was state capture. If the composition of the committee does not change, then, Jurašs believes, it is naïve to expect any progress. Nevertheless, he admits that he hopes for Andrejs Judins’ alternative conclusion, because this deputy has approached this matter with professionalism and integrity.

«You see, because Lembergs has been in power for a long time, he has managed to put very loyal people in important government posts. This is one of the main pre-conditions for his manipulation of many important government processes.»

According to him, Lembergs’ interests have always been very narrow – using political influence and power to increase his personal wealth. One thing is certain – Oligarch talks reveal Lembergs’ true nature.

The fact that Lembergs remains active in Latvia’s politics, Jurašs views as proof of fooling and manipulating society. «He is not interested in actually helping the country and resolving topical problems we have. This includes poverty and social inequality.» The claim that Lembergs at least shares what he steals, is incorrect and unacceptable.

Jurašs views the publication of Oligarch talks an important step, because this way society can change its opinion about one or another person mentioned in relation to the case. «One thing is clear – these talks should not be an official secret – their content is important for the public.»


Leave a reply

Latvian border guards find more than 140 kg of hashish in a car

On 16 September, Latvian State Border Guard detained a 1991-born man and his car at Grebnev border checkpoint. A secret compartment containing 145.3 kg of narcotic substances was found in his car during a routine inspection, as reported by State Border Guard.

EU suspects German car-makers of colluding against cleaner technology

EU competition watchdogs are probing if German automotive giants have colluded to restrict the development of clean emission technology.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 7.8 thousand in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 there were 24.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 7.8 thousand vacancies or 46.6 % more than in Q2 2017. In public sector there were 7.2 thousand and in private sector 17.3 thousand job vacancies.

Latvian government desperate to resolve the growing piles of used tires problem

Latvian government has supported Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s prepared report ‘On maintenance of used tires’. This report includes proposals for measures to help resolve the matter regarding speeding up recycling and regeneration rates, as well as the no less important matter of maintenance of used tires.

Cargo volumes handled by Latvian ports remain stable in first half-year of 2018

Latvian ports transshipped 43.468 million tonnes of cargoes in the first eight months of 2018, which is 0.9% more than in the same period of last year. According to data from Transport Ministry, cargo turnover’s negative balance continues declining at Ventspils port, where 13.274 million tonnes of cargoes were transshipped in the first eight months, which is a drop of 11.9%.

airBaltic carried 18% more passengers in summer

Latvian airline airBaltic has carried 2,770,047 more passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East in the first eight months of 2018, BNN was told by the company.

Ukrainian workers in Lithuania gradually fill gap left by Lithuanian exodus

Companies in Lithuania, in particular operating in construction, logistics and retail chains, are increasingly inviting workers from Ukraine and Belarus to fill the worker shortage of Lithuanians moving to richer countries.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 47.14 million recovered in August

Assets worth EUR 47.13 million were recovered from the liquidated ABLV Bank in August, which is 2.2 times more than a month prior, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Estonia bank watchdog points to Denmark's responsibility over Danske

As to the allegations of doubtful billions flowing via the Estonia branch of Danske Bank, the Estonian watchdog of financial institutions has noted that the Danish supervisory authority was responsible for the lender's risk control.

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

On Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

Sixteen contenders apply for Rundale Castle Museum director’s post

A total of sixteen contenders have applied for participation in Latvian Culture Ministry’s announced open personnel selection process to find the next director of Rundale Castle Museum.

Russia: Military plane with 14 Russian soldiers has been lost near Syria

A Russian war plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared while over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Syria, Russia's Defence Ministry has stated.

Unity decides not to support UGF’s initiative for people’s elected president

Unity political party has no plans to support the amendments submitted by the Union of Greens and Farmers on people’s elected president, says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

U.S. to introduce more import tariffs on China produce

The U.S. government has announced imposing import duty tariffs on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion (EUR 171 billion), in a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Latvian parties’ pre-election promotion costs reach EUR 1.64 million

Three weeks prior to Saeima elections, expenses of Latvian political parties on promotion have reached EUR 1,638,393. Concord remains in the least expense-wise, according to information from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Internal Security Bureau criticizes State Police for insufficient corruption prevention

Internal Security Bureau has detained several police officers under suspicion of bribery. Because of that, the bureau has voiced criticism to the management of Latvia’s State Bureau for insufficient corruption prevention measures.

Full transition to electronic documents in construction sector planned for 2019

During a meeting on 17 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to Construction Law developed by Economy Ministry. These amendments provide for a full transition to electronic document handling in the country’s construction sector starting from 2019. This includes submission, decision-making processes and coordination – all of these processes will be performed using Construction Information System, as confirmed by Economy Ministry.

MPC permit revoked for liquidated Jurmala-based M7 Energy

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to revoke the permit that allows selling produced electrical energy within mandatory procurement component system from SIA M7 Energy (previous name SIA KSER) CHP plant in Jurmala.

U.S. looking into Danske Bank operations in Estonia

Danske Bank, the leading bank in Denmark, is being investigated by U.S. authorities in relation to alleged money laundering from Russia involving Danske's Estonia branch, American media report.

Nearly 80,000 people have left Riga to live elsewhere in last seven years

In the past seven years, 78,692 people have left Riga to live in other countries or elsewhere in Latvia, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Estonia's free rural bus rides result in passenger boom

Rural bus lines in the majority of Estonian counties have been offering free trips since early July, and in August an increase of 10,000 more rides was observed, resulting in frequently overcrowded buses.

NP: Riga municipality plans to adopt EUR 5 entry fee to city’s centre

A EUR 5 entry fee to Riga’s centre may be a solution Riga municipality has picked to help solve possible traffic congestion problem that is expected to appear in 2020, when it is planned commence construction of Rail Baltica railway. Because of that, several major streets will be closed down for traffic, according to information from Nekā personīga programme.

State Chancellery: no attempts to influence elections from abroad have been observed

Compared to the attempts to influence election results in other countries, no active attempts to influence 13th Saeima elections have been observed so far, said State Chancellery acting director for prevention of hybrid threats Kaspars Ozoliņš.

Switzerland urges Russia to quit violating law, spying in its territory

Switzerland's foreign ministry has urged Russia to stop illegal activities on its territory after three suspected spying cases have emerged in the country in 2018.

To decide on compensation in nano-water case, Rīgas satiksme wants to look at materials

Although SIA Rīgas satiksme was declared a victim in the so-called nano-water case, the company has not requested compensation. The reason for this is that the company wants to look through materials of the case, as explained by the company’s representative Baiba Bartaševiča.