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Court turns down Lembergs' demand that panel of judges reviewing his case be dismissed
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    News

    Court turns down Lembergs' demand that panel of judges reviewing his case be dismissed

    RIGA, Jan 13 (LETA) - The Riga Regional Court today did not accept Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs' (For Latvia and Ventspils) demand that judges reviewing his criminal case be replaced, LETA learned at the court.

    Lembergs said on his website that he had appealed against "global pressure on judges and the rule of law."

    As reported, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) on December 9 imposed sanctions on Lembergs and four legal entities associated with him, based on the so-called Magnitsky Act.

    Lembergs believes that therefore an impartial review of his case in Latvia is "not possible at all".

    Later, Lembergs' new lawyer, Genadijs Ivankins addressed the court, stating that the four months he had been given to familiarize himself with the case had not been enough.

    On the other hand, the prosecution maintained that Lembergs' demand that the panel of judges be dismissed was not legally substantiated and could not even be considered because it had not been submitted correctly.

    The court therefore decided that Lembergs' appeal was unfounded and must be turned down. The court found that Lembergs' arguments about media influence on the court were unfounded. "Such statements cannot create a perception of the bias of the court or cast doubt on the fairness of the court," the court explained.

    The next court hearing will be on January 14.

    LETA also reported, the Prosecutor's Office has demanded an eight-year prison sentence, with confiscation of property, and a fine in the amount of 150 minimum monthly wages, or EUR 64,500, for Lembergs who stands accused of a number of serious crimes.

    The prosecutor's office also wants Lembergs' son Anrijs Lembergs to be sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison with confiscation of property, and Lembergs' business partner Ansis Sormulis - to seven years in prison, also with confiscation of property, said Juriss.

    Riga Regional Court has been reviewing the case since August 2009.

    • Published: 13.01.2020 18:07
    • Karlis Arajs, LETA
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