Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 23.09.2018 | Name days: Vanda, Veneranda, Venija

Ventspils opposition member: list of Lembergs’ committed crimes continues expanding

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«During his rule in Ventspils, Aivars Lembergs performed so many illegal and criminal acts that investigation and judicial institutions still haven’t sorted things out,» said Ventspils City Council opposition member Valdis Kristovskis in an interview to BNN.

He says there is no doubt – during the period of Ventspils and state capture, Lembergs has managed to spend enough time imitating work in the interest of the city and society, whose portion of reasonably-minded people he calls ‘lumpen-proletariat’. «Something like that is only possible in conditions of a cult of personality. Unfortunately, there are people, whole parties, who do not seem all that worried about that,» says Kristovskis.

He notes that people are inspired by this approach. It eats away the country’s democracy and rule of law. «It is the duty of politicians to maintain standards and establish requirements, because if you’re not caught committing a crime does not mean a crime was not committed! Politicians have to oppose corruption and crime on a state level even if investigation and court processes require time. If politicians wait for crimes to be proven in court, then, I’m sorry, people like that should not work in state administration and act as people’s representatives,» said Kristovskis.

An accused person remains an opinion-creator in the country

Kristovskis emphasizes that Lembergs still has a great deal of influence in Latvia’s political life even though he is accused of serious crimes and suspended from taking post as chairman of Venspils City Council. ‘Lembergs should be distanced from the government and the Saeima, but he feels like he’s at home there. His schemes for taking other people’s money are regularly discussed there and supported. He is the one who come up with ideas for state policy, finance and economic matters. This is because he enjoys a great deal of support from the Union of Greens and Farmers. As a result, Lembergs, as a politician suspended from his post as chairman of Ventspils City Council, continues picking cream from the pot of money given by the European Union. It is absurd,’ says the politician.

«Such ‘excellence’ does not benefit the suspended Ventspils official in proving the charges raised against him wrong. A person who has a responsibility before the state has to do everything to prove their innocence. Unfortunately, there is no excellence from Lembergs to observe. In the past ten years, he has had no desire to prove his innocence,» adds Kristovskis.

According to him, the entire parties that allow Lembergs’ influence to spread in the country’s political and economic life are short-sighted and irresponsible.

«This kind of political approach and behaviour by political parties only reduce society’s belief that rule of law is an important value.»

Power in Ventspils has been captured by an anti-democratic regime

Looking back at the post-election period in Ventspils, the politician admits that the city has been taken over by an anti-democratic regime.

«Anti-democratic and illegal methods are employed to ensure the regime can maintain power in Ventspils. The regime governed by lawlessness limits the opposition as much as it can. The city council’s administrative apparatus works to ensure uncontested rule of the suspended chairman and his political party. What is most important in the work of city council officials is information and participation in evaluation and preparation of decisions, as well as the ability to explain opinions to Ventspils residents using media financed by Ventspils municipality. ’Abandon hope! You’re not allowed! The right to speak on the official Ventspils City Council internet portal belongs only to competent members of the city council.’ So this means exclusively Lembergs. This is the basically the response given by the municipality’s administration to countless requests. The reason behind this is limiting the participation of opposition members in the decision-making process to a minimum. And this is why three members of the opposition – Landmanis brothers and me – are not allowed in any city council committee or council dealing with important matters,» Kristovskis continues.

«This not only breaches the rights of the opposition detailed in the Constitution, but also puts the opposition facing the fact that they are have to make decisions on projects worth millions, whose materials are only discussed during meetings of the Finance Committee, shortly before votes, without any room or time to consider projects’ financial justifications. This is exactly what Lembergs’ regime wants. This regime pushes vitally important matters through formal decision-making procedures.»

Such methods also pave the way for another trick Kristovskis has noticed in the work performed by Ventspils City Council. «The ruling power continues declaring the opposition incompetent and using media financed by the city council and taxpayers to promote its own the ‘accomplishments’ in the best possible light, saying that it was through ‘hard work’ and ‘serious fight’ with ‘enemies from the opposition’ and other naysayers – Riga’s parties, court and prosecutor’s office.»

Kristovskis believes the tactic of double standards continues working rather successfully in Latvia, «because Ventspils is able to get its hands on double the amount of money provided by the European Union than other cities.»

Oligarchs’ desire to influence law enforcement institutions

According to Kristovskis, ‘there are two factors that can help reduce Lembergs’ factor. First of all, the solution lies in society’s understanding and demands put before the state. Public views should not turn away from basic democratic values.’

The second factor is successful completion of Lembergs’ criminal case. «Society, journalists and politicians can voice their opinions of Lembergs. This has to continue. In the end, the court will have to make an appropriate judgement. If this does not happen, it will be a triumph for crime. Unfortunately, this is exactly what oligarchs want – reducing the importance of Lembergs’ crimes and putting the investigation to shame,» said Kristovskis.

Leave a reply

BNN summary of the week: pre-election heat, rule of law in Latvia, Baltics prepare for Pope’s visit

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Elections; Change; Stagnation; Fight; Visit; Investigation.

Court reschedules viewing of criminal case due to Non-citizens Congress leader’s poor health

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court announced today that the viewing of the criminal case in which leader of Non-citizens Congress Aleksandrs Gapoņenko is accused of inciting national hate will be postponed to a later date.

Producer prices in industry up 1.0% in Latvia in August

Compared to July, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry rose by 1.0 % in August 2018. Level of prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 1.9 %, but of exported products – went up by 0.1 %.

Bishop: priest suspected of sexual abuse to be operated on in hospital

Pāvels Zeiļa, who is a priest of Rezekne Aglona diocese and the suspect in the criminal case regarding sexual violence and human trafficking, will undergo a complicated surgery on Friday, 21 September, as reported by Bishop Jānis Bulis.

Study: residents withdraw money from ATMs less often but in larger amounts

Every now and then discussions about dropping cash money altogether become active in society, AS PrivatBank representatives say.

HND Grupa design company, involved in Zolitude tragery, declared insolvent

Building engineer Ivars Sergets company HND Grupa, which was involved in the case revolving around the Maxima supermarket that collapsed in Zolitude, killing 54, not five years ago, has been declared insolvent, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Deputy Chief of State Fire and Rescue Service suspected of misappropriation

Latvia’s Interior Affairs Ministry’s Internal Security Bureau has detained deputy chief of State Fire and Rescue Service Ints Sēlis and one other official – a senior inspector, as reported by Panorāma programme of LTV.

Washington sanctions China for buying Russian military equipment

U.S. government has introduces sanctions against the Chinese army over a purchase of fighter jets and missile systems from Russia, despite a U.S. sanctions law targeting Moscow for attempts to sway in the 2016 U.S. election.

Autumn expected to begin soon in Latvia

Friday, 21 September, is expected to be warm in Latvia. Sun and considerable amount of clouds are expected, but not precipitation. Wind will draw in from the south, reaching a speed of 15-17 m/sec in western and central regions, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Brexit: a finish line with no end in sight

Less than 200 days are left before Britain officially leaves the European Union. The state of the agreement between Britain and EU only serves to create more chaos, from which neither Britain nor EU, or even Latvia will benefit.

EU underlines to London: No-deal Brexit also option

European Union's top officials and member state leaders planned to push for a Brexit deal in October, while urging London to give ground on the issues trade and the Irish border by November, to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Lithuanian PM, a presumable presidential hopeful, set to curb grocery price growth

Having chastised food retailers on many occasions for high grocery prices, Saulius Skvernelis, the Lithuanian Prime Minister, stepped forward in the bid to harness local supermarkets. The presumed presidential candidate of the ruling Farmers and Greens (LVŽS) has summoned this week executives of major retail food chains, scolded them and reaffirmed his pledge to rein in the edging up prices.

Industrial prices in Estonia – up by 3.4% on year

The industrial price index in Estonia has risen from August 2017 to August this year by 3.4%, official statistics show.

Latvian parliament approves transition to competence-based approach in education content

On Thursday, 20 September, Latvia’s Saeima approved in the final reading amendments to the Education Law, necessary for the gradual introduction of competence-based approach in education materials.

Latvian Saeima wants to disallow shareholders to work in company management board

On Thursday, 20 September, Saeima approved in the first reading amendments to the Credit Institutions Law that provide for multiple measures to enhance Latvia’s finance system and its long-term stability, as reported by the parliament’s press-service.

Aglone Council prohibits residents from organizing protests during Pope Francis’ visit

A protest against the Catholic Church’s ban on abortions and expression of shock in relation to the recent sex scandals involving Catholic priests was planned to take place in Aglone during Pope Francis’ visit, but the city council decided to disallow them.

Latvian parliament conceptual supports pension bonus indexation

On Thursday, 20 September, Saeima supported in the first reading several initiatives for a more rapid pension climb for several groups of pensioners, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Majority Saeima deputies support open president vote; UGF members fail to decide unanimously

On Thursday, 20 September, amendments to the Constitution regarding open election of the state president were approved in the second reading.

Four Estonian parties have strong support, enough to enter Riigikogu

Four Estonian parties are believed to currently have enough support to enter the Estonian parliament, a broad opinion poll showed, as leading parties compete for voter backing.

Vitol Group concerned over state of rule of law in Latvia; turns to state officials

One of the largest energy resource traders in the world – Vitol Group – has sent a letter to Latvia’s highest ranking officials, expressing deep concern over the rule of law and application of legislative acts in the litigation between LatRosTrans and Polocktransneft Druzba over the EUR 66 million worth technological oil.

As Pope heads to Baltics, more attention to Catholic sex abuse

The time, when Roman Catholic Pope Francis is set to visit the Baltics, greatly differs from the visit by Saint John Paul II in 1993. There is public resentment over the countries spending several million euros to host the trip of the pontiff and the Catholic sex abuse scandals are topic of discussion.

Officials asked to take responsibility for misuse of state resources

If misuse of state resources takes place, officials have to take responsibility and pay for the damages caused to the state, says Public Expenditure and Audit Committee chairman Andris Bērziņš.

May asks EU not to divide Britain, while Brussels waits for UK change of position

At a European Union summit in Austria, UK's Prime Minister Theresa May called on EU leaders leave behind "unacceptable" Brexit demands that according to her may rip Britain apart.

Saeima decides to divide EUR 8.3 million of healthcare budget funds to finance reforms

Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee has supported the initiative to divide EUR 8.277 million from the planned chronic patient care funding to further finance reforms in the country’s healthcare system.

20 complaints received in first 10 days of data protection regulation

In the first 100 days since adoption of European General Data Protection Regulation, Latvia’s Data State Inspectorate has received 20 data protection violation reports, said the centre’s director Daiga Avdejanova during a meeting of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee.

Newest comments