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Latvian prosecutor drops money laundering charges against Lembergs

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 09.02.2012.Print version
Prosecutor General's Office prosecutor Aivis Zaluzinskis on December 22, 2011, decided to dismiss money laundering proceedings against Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, started back in 2005.

Aivars Lembergs.

In the criminal case, Lembergs was charged with not just money laundering but also extorting bribes and conflict of interest, as the Prosecutor Office's press secretary Laura Pakalne told LETA.

 

The part of the criminal case that deals with bribe extortion and conflict of interest has been forwarded to the Riga Regional Court, whilst that part that deals with money laundering was still investigated by the prosecutor's office.


Understanding that it there is no compelling evidence to substantiate the claim in court, the prosecutor took the decision to dismiss the proceedings, said Pakalne.


According to LETA archive, Lembergs was charged in the so-called "Ventspils affair" or investigation into possible corruption on the part of Ventspils officials, which began on October 3, 2005, based on a criminal probe into the possible wrongdoing by the officials.


Lembergs was charged on three counts pursuant to the Criminal Law's Section 195, money laundering.


Lembergs was charged with laundering a total of LVL 1.5 million from 1999 to 2003, laundering over LVL 6 million after accepting Multinord shares and until 20032, and laundering LVL 536,000 in 2001 and 2002. According to the criminal case, Lembergs acquired all this money as a result of extorting bribes.






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