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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Rubber stretching. 11th anniversary of Aivars Lembergs’ trial

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Aivars Lembergs, trial, prosecutor, Juris Juriss, US sanctions, anniversary, Riga Regional Court, OFAC, recommendedRubber stretching is a process that supposedly progresses but yields no benefits to anyone except the person doing the stretching. This allegory can be used to describe Aivars Lembergs’ trial, which has continued for 11 years.

In spite of USA making its opinion clear about Aivars Lembergs’ involvement in serious corruption crimes, Latvia has not been able to reach a ruling in the so-called Lembergs trial for 11 years.

BNN had previously reported that the trial reviewing Lembergs’ case is more non-existent rather than an ongoing process. The reasons are many: sicknesses (for example, Lembergs broken leg had successfully prolonged the trial for a whole month), judges and lawyers leaving over conflicts with other trials and participation in conferences. Sometimes hearings commence at 11:00 and end around 15:30. At least a couple of those hearings had ended at around 13:00. It should be reminded here that Riga Regional Court had ruled for hearings to take place four times a week: from Monday to Thursday, between 10:00 and 16:00.

Last year there was another «stunt» pulled – Lembergs’ lawyer Raimonds Krastiņš stepped down over health problems. This followed up with a search for a new lawyer. At the beginning Lembergs could not find a new lawyer. Although the state had provided him with Genādijs Ivankins, Lembergs had announced his choice of a lawyer – Aivo Leimanis. This man had represented Lembergs in the past.

«The court had printed out Leimanis’ schedule. According to this schedule, he only has Saturday and Sunday free. This means Lembergs has hired a lawyer who is unable to represent him in court. This points to intentional prolonging of the trial,» BNN was previously told by prosecutor Juriss Juriss, who is responsible for the case.

This stunt by Lembergs has failed and he was given a lawyer provided by the state, who, it seems, is not exactly happy with his client.

However, Ivankins was not allowed to reject his duty. He was given six months to study more than 200 volumes of the criminal case.

Court hearings currently focus on debates.

Was the indication from outside – USA – not sufficient motivation for putting an end to this 11-years-long rubber stretching?

It is also worth mentioning that the basic principle of the criminal process, as outlined in Section 14 of the Law on Criminal Procedures, is reviewing cases within reasonable terms.


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