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Saturday 19.10.2019 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna
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No clarity over next lawyer of Lembergs

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Suspended Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs

The Riga District Court did not clarify in the criminal proceedings against the mayor of the Latvian port city Ventspils, Aivars Lembergs (For Latvia and Ventspils), who is charged with serious crimes and has been suspended from office, who will be his next lawyer.

The issue was not clarified in the court hearing held on Monday, August 26. Defendant Lembergs needs a new lawyer because his previous head of defence in the proceedings Raimonds Krastiņš left his team on June 25.

It was stated in the Monday hearing that the state-appointed lawyer to the defendant is Genādijs Ivankins.

The lawyer stated to the court that if he would represent Lembergs in court, he would need at least six months to get acquainted with the materials of the criminal case.

Judge Irīna Jansone said that a submission has been received from the former lawyer of Lembergs, Aivo Leimanis, that he had agreed to defend his former client in the proceedings and that he was on vacation until September 2 and had a very busy schedule for September.

The court explained to Lembergs that he had no right to agree with a lawyer, who would only attend the hearings of the preference of the defendant.

«Either you will be defended by a lawyer, who will be able to attend the planned hearings by the end of the year or you will be provided a state-appointed lawyer,» judge Jansone assessed the situation.

The defendant argued that this way his rights to a fair trial would be violated, because a lawyer would need time to read the materials of the case consisting of 240 volumes and other documents.

The next hearing in the court is planned for September 2.

Reportedly, in 25 June, the lawyer of Lembergs, Raimonds Krastiņš unexpectedly announced his decision cease lawyering. Lembergs has two more lawyers to depend on, but the scandalous politician has said that they cannot take on responsibilities of the third lawyer because all three of them took charge over specific aspects of the case.

Lembergs says he will look for a new lawyer. Once a replacement has been found they will need time to go through the case and listen to at least part of audio recordings from previous court sessions, says Lembergs.

The side of the prosecution believes Krastiņš did much to delay proceedings and now that he’s gone the process may be delayed even more.

Because of the lawyer’s decision, this week’s court proceedings in Lembergs’ criminal case have been cancelled. The politician is given time until 19 August to find a new lawyer.

The so-called Lembergs criminal case has entered its final stage – the prosecution has read charges in legal debates. Lembergs’ defence is in the process of explaining their position to the court.

Prosecutors asked to court to sentence Lembergs to eight years of prison with confiscation of property, as well as a fine of EUR 64 500.

Prosecutors commenced legal debates in February 2018 and concluded the speech in March 2019.

The prosecutor’s office accuses Lembergs of bribery in especially large volumes, money laundering, forgery of official status, participation in monetary deals he is not allowed to take part in due to his official status, as well as abuse of official power and other crimes. Anrijs Lembergs and Ansis Sormulis are also among the accused in this criminal case.

The prosecutor’s office has requested sentencing Anrijs Lembergs to a prison sentence of five years and six months with confiscation of property, whereas the requested sentence for Sormulis is seven years in prison with confiscation of property, as explained by prosecutor Juris Juriss.

All three of the accused deny their guilt.


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