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National Alliance to back proposal for making public "oligarch case", other ruling parties to think it over
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    National Alliance to back proposal for making public "oligarch case", other ruling parties to think it over

    RIGA, Aug 10 (LETA) - The National Alliance could support the proposal by Unity MP Andrejs Judins to adopt a special law that would allow for releasing materials of the so-called "oligarch case" to the public but other ruling parties - the Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers - are yet to discuss the proposal.

    Solvita Aboltina, the chairwoman of the Unity's parliamentary faction, said that, if Judins formally put forward his proposal, the faction will discuss it. We must determine whether creating a precedent for making public the materials of a criminal case would not undermine the rule-of-law, she said, noting that Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) had already criticized the idea.

    Augusts Brigmanis, the chairman of the Greens/Farmers parliamentary faction, said the faction would discuss Judins' proposal. He said that in principle he was open to transparency and said that the proposal might be made more general, allowing for release of the materials concerning other high-profile cases that would be of interest to the public, such as vote-buying and bankruptcies of Latvijas Krajbanka (Latvian Savings Bank) and Parex Bank. Therefore clear-cut criteria will be needed to determine which criminal cases can be made public, and, of course, an opinion of legal experts must be obtained.

    The National Alliance would back a bill based on Judins' proposal and is willing to cooperate in drafting of the bill in order to attain the legitimate goal of providing information to the public, the party's co-chairman, Gaidis Berzins, said.

    He said he was disappointed that the ad hoc parliamentary committee probing the so-called oligarch affair had rejected the proposal by MP Ritvars Jansons (National Alliance) about replacing the committee chair, even though Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis himself had urged the lawmakers to reconsider their choice of MP Inguna Sudraba (For Latvia from the Heart) as the committee chair because she herself had been mentioned in the oligarch conversations as a candidate to the Latvian prime minister acceptable to the Kremlin.

    But it appears from Berzins' words that for now the National Alliance is not planning any other move to get Sudraba removed as the committee chair.

    As reported, on July 21 lawmakers set up a parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked with probing possible capture of state and factors that led to the closure of the “oligarch case” before it had reached court.

    The oligarch conversations are a series of transcripts of high-ranking politicians and businessmen's conversations at Ridzene hotel in Riga which have recently been published by the Ir magazine. Those records were one of the main pieces of evidence in a 2011 criminal case on bribery, money laundering, abuse of office and other crimes, implicating a number of high-ranking politicians and public figures, including Andris Skele, Aivars Lembergs, Ainars Slesers and others. The Corruption Prevention Bureau investigated the case for several years, but eventually concluded that the secretly-recorded conversations did not constitute compelling evidence, therefore the criminal case was closed.

    • Published: 10.08.2017 11:27
    • LETA
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