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Wednesday 18.07.2018 | Name days: Rozālija, Roze
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Some politicians involved in ‘oligarchs case’ remain active in Latvia’s political life

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Having worked intensely with materials of the oligarchs case, I have come to the conclusion that rumours about state capture attempts in Latvia are true. KNAB has created a very large case that includes materials that confirm suspicions about illegal acts, and also points to intentional abuse of official power by certain politicians,» Saeima deputy Andrejs Judins comments the situation.

The deputy says that it has been found out in the ongoing investigation that not all people whose activities who hold important information were interviewed by KNAB. Investigators did not use all opportunities available to them to gain evidence. State capture is not a term included in the Criminal Law. Nevertheless, it is associated with certain activities that are punishable by law.

He also adds that publication of certain documents does align with public interests. «This case is not just about what happened six years ago – it is also associated with modern state administration,» says Judins.

The deputy explains that, looking at KNAB’s investigation, which did not result in the case being submitted to court, it is clear that one of the problems with that investigation was insufficient cooperation between involved participating law enforcement institutions. «Cooperation with other state institutions, such as State Audit, which had declined providing assistance to KNAB multiple times, was on a very low level and did not contribute anything to the investigation process.»

The deputy also says that publication of certain documents does align with public interests. «This case is not just about what happened six years ago – it is also associated with modern state administration,» says the politician.

«Matters raised by both the published Ridzene talks and the parliamentary investigative committee’s work are equally important for society – they clearly point to political processes in Latvia and who is to blame. Media in Latvia is influenced by certain people who want to gain personal benefits at the expense of society. Because of that, those media are unable to offer society objective information about processes that take place in the country. This creates risks when residents accept state capture processes. I would like to emphasize – state capture in a long-term is only possible if society allows dishonest politicians to use elections as a platform to influence economic and political processes,» says Judins.

There is a risk of democracy becoming a shell of its former self and society, influenced by media controlled by oligarchs, electing politicians working in their personal, not society’s, interests, as mentioned on Kustības Par! website.

According to Judins, the parliamentary investigative committee has not focused on achieving its main objective until now. «Opinions given by experts and interviewed people often steer attention away from reaching Saeima’s given objective. Too often interviews turn into pointless discussions and we fail to identify and investigate signs of state capture,» he said.

The matter about the Constitution being at risk only demonstrated the committee’s inability to find experts of constitutional rights, said the deputy. He says that instead of reserving this matter until it is possible to invite experts, it was initially planned to invite lawyers. Even interviews of the people involved in Ridzene talks have not been fruitful so far. For example, Ainārs Šlesers did not provide any answers to the questions he was asked, said Judins.

He adds that the committee has serious planning problems. «Planning only became more or less a priority when I said we should interview at least 15 more people. There is not a lot of time left to interview, and there are many of them. On top of that, there haven’t been many discussions about acquired testimonies so far,» adds the deputy.

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  1. Ilmars says:

    This committee was a sham from the start, and deliberately designed to do nothing.
    The leader of this so called investigation, Sudruba,before the last election, was caught dining with oligarchs, and refused to say where her party’s funding came from.
    The real focus should be, not only what happened 6 years ago, but what is happening today.
    If every member of the Latvian parliament was kicked out, Latvia would be a much less corrupt country, and be much better off economically.
    Latvia is still being run by liars, thieves and crooks.

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