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Prosecutor for Lembergs’ case: criminal proceedings should be made more efficient

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUCriminal proceedings should be made more efficient, says prosecutor Juris Juriss, who is responsible for the criminal case involving suspended Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs.

According to him, Lembergs’ criminal case is one of the longest processes the prosecutor has ever experienced. Because of that, he believes it is important to discuss the possibility of making criminal proceedings more efficient.

Juriss says over the course of the past ten years, while Lembergs’ case was being processed, the legislator has added several changes to regulations to make proceedings more efficient. However, Lembergs’ case and similar processes the legislator can influence, speeding proceedings at the trial stage.

According to Juriss, currently the pre-trial period for criminal cases is much shorter than the trial process itself.

Incidentally, the next court hearing for Lembergs’ criminal case is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. 11 March.

During court debates on Thursday, 7 March, the prosecutor’s office asked the court to sentence infamous Ventspils City Council chairman Aivars Lembergs to eight years in prison with confiscation of property, as well as a fine of EUR 64,500, as confirmed by prosecutor Juris Juriss.

The court hearing is on a break. Once everyone has reconvened, the court will continue debates in regards to proposed punishment for Lembergs’ son Anrijs Lembergs and business partner Ansis Sormulis.

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.

All three of them deny any guilt.

The criminal case combines two criminal processes in approximately 200 volumes. The criminal case was submitted to court in the second half of 2008.


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