Aivars Lembergs keeps exposing the nonsensical accusations against him in his last word
Analyzing the accusations of money laundering, A. Lembergs drew the court's attention to the wording of the accusation "at a place and time not clarified in the pre-trial investigation".
In Moscow or Berlin?
"The prosecution has never been able to find out in which city, in what room, at what time, on what date, only "in the second half of 1999”, four people under my leadership came together and formed a criminal group. It is not even known where it happened - in Moscow, or maybe in Ventspils? There is a wording "not clarified in the pre-trial investigation". This has not been clarified in the court investigation either! Why? Because there has been no such event! If they tried to invent and write down some date, time, city, country, continent, these four people could open their calendars and see where they were at the time and say, “What do you mean, I was in Moscow? I was in Berlin!" How can I give an alibi if there is no known place, continent, country, forest, cave, street? I cannot object to an abstract statement. I can't even say that the meeting was on Earth - maybe it was on the moon? Prosecutors have not indicated this to date."
A.Lembergs also drew attention to the logical absurdity in the chronology created by prosecutors: “One paragraph states that a criminal group was formed in the second half of 1999 with the aim of money laundering, but another paragraph states that in June 1995, Ansis Sormulis, together with other members of SIA LatTransnafta, decided to increase the capital of LatTransnafta, and that this was Sormulis' first action in the interests of a criminal group to launder money. If the group was formed in 1999, how could Sormulis carry out activities in the summer of 1995 in the interests of this group? You will say: "Lembergs must be fibbing!" No, Lembergs is not fibbing. He is pointing out the contradictions in the accusations, which have not been resolved so far!”
“In 1995, the law did not provide for liability for money laundering. If a company sells shares, it is not a crime. It is apparent from the indictment that Lembergs was so stupid that he waited from 1995 up until 1999 for the law to come into force so that he could be prosecuted with the three gentlemen for the Kaywood /sold/ shares. Does that sound believable? The prosecutor says yes! I say no! Have I gone mad then? The article is very tough in this case, the third paragraph. We also do not know when and where this /criminal/ group was formed. There is no word about it in the indictment because there is no such event. What is the logical explanation if the law came into force in 1999, but Ansis Sormulis started working in the interests of the group already in 1995?”
A.Lembergs called on the court to evaluate the accusation and the arguments mentioned in it also from the point of view of common sense and basic logic: “Ansis Sormulis did not increase the capital alone. He was mandated to do so by the Director of Ost Trading&Finance. The director is still alive and working in Riga. Why hasn't he been questioned?”
Analyzing the article on money laundering, A. Lembergs pointed out that money laundering is a one-time completed transaction, but according to the logic of the accusations against him, it still hasn't been completed: "It goes until 2002, to the Tobago store. It's a wonder that prosecutors didn't link that I still buy groceries in this Tobago, now Rimi, as a way of me continuing to launder."
Different types of proof of ownership
Analyzing the accusations under Section 219 of the Criminal Law for non-declaration of companies allegedly owned by him in the declaration of public officials, A. Lembergs drew the court's attention to the reluctance of prosecutors to separate stocks from shares: “The indictment states that I have not declared 29 foreign companies in my official declaration. Prosecutor Zalužinskis in his reply said without remorse - it doesn't matter, stocks or shares, because it is all the same! I am accused of not declaring shares and not of not declaring stocks! According to the testimony of /Rudolfs/ Meroni and Gints Laiviņš-Laivenieks, these /undeclared companies/ were joint stock companies. That's why the prosecutor says it doesn't matter, it's the same thing. If we take the declaration of a public official, then we see that it is not so open there. That thing is much more accurate. If it is a joint stock company, then there are stocks. If it is a limited liability company, then there are shares. These are different things. For more than ten years, two /different/ laws have been in force in Latvia - for limited liability companies and for joint stock companies. If the prosecutor looked into the law, he would notice that there have been these two laws in the Republic of Latvia. You might say, "Lembergs, you said the accusation was about foreign companies!" I'll answer: “Lembergs cannot answer this question. The prosecutor has not attached to the case any foreign law regulating the activities of companies.” The Prosecutor applies the laws of the Republic of Latvia to joint stock companies and limited liability companies that are not registered in Latvia. So a limited liability company registered in Switzerland operates on the basis of the law of the Republic of Latvia on limited liability companies? Do Swiss laws also apply in Latvia? Why the laws of the relevant country are not attached to a criminal case is a fundamental question. That is why I am talking about Latvian laws, our legal space is being extended to foreign countries. Latvia is a superpower! Maybe that is what they teach at the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia, but it does not go along with common sense!”
Can't declare what does not belong to you
A.Lembergs reminded the court that in Latvia and elsewhere in the world the shares of limited liability companies (i.e. SIA) and their owners are registered in the Register of Enterprises, where they are visible, but the shareholders of joint stock companies are registered in the stockholder books: "It's a big difference. Therefore, shares and stocks are not the same thing.”
Explaining how to prove ownership of shares and stocks, A. Lembergs said: “The only place where stockholders can be seen is the stockholder book. I am told: you are a stockholder of Kālija parks. Let's check! Here, the stockholder book! We open it, but that is not what is written there. The SRS says: “Lembergs, why did you submit false information? We hold you accountable under Section 319 of the Criminal Law.” And rightly so. I cannot record what I cannot prove. Another example. The indictment states that I own 53 stocks in the /Swiss company/ Ost Service AG and that they should be declared. Ost Service AG has been the subject of legal proceedings: the plaintiff - Ansis Sormulis, the defendant - Ost Service AG, where the plaintiff seeks the right to decide with his 98% stockholding /in this company/. Ansis is the owner of those stocks because that is what is recorded in the stockholder book of Ost Service AG. The trial took place in Switzerland, in accordance with Swiss law. There is a final judgment of the last instance /Swiss/ Federal Court stating that, on the basis of an entry in the stockholder book, Sormulis is the legal owner of the stocks and is entitled to exercise his stockholder rights in full. This was recognized by the Swiss Supreme Court. What other evidence is needed that Lembergs does not own stocks in Ost Service AG, not even the two that do not belong to Sormulis but belong to the company's board members? If I were to declare the stocks of Ost Service AG, the Swiss court would say: "No, Lembergs, you are a fraud!" Then I would be prosecuted in Latvia. If I do not do as the prosecutor dictates and do not declare them, I am prosecuted again! What must I do? Dear Court, give me advice! If I listen to the prosecutors - prison! If I don't listen - also prison! The ruling of a Swiss court has been in force for six years now, where it can be seen that Lembergs' participation in this company does not exist. Is this episode excluded from the charge? Was it not then the duty of the prosecutors to at least remove this from the charge, because then there would be no need to talk about it in the debate and now in the last word? After all, the court cannot remove it from the charge! I can't remove it either!”
A legal entity does not have degrees
Speaking about proving property rights, A. Lembergs mentioned another piece of evidence that was unpleasant for prosecutors. "To my great surprise, on August 17, 2020, the court removed Meroni from being the property custodian. The fact that, after the accusation, I apparently own 29 companies - from then on the situation became radically clear. Everything that my defenders said before in the court debate has been confirmed by 200%. Rudolfs Meroni wrote clearly and unequivocally to the Provision State Agency that the legal owners of these companies are legal entities. But the indictment says they are Lembergs and/or Lembergs' family. Lembergs is added everywhere. But if the rightful owners are legal entities, you can not say that they are me - a natural person, still warm, 36.6 degrees! How many degrees does a legal entity have? No degrees! If Lembergs is not the legal owner, can I declare these companies in the declaration? I cannot! But I am accused of not declaring them! In the case before the court, there are no /undeclared foreign companies'/ stocks or a copy thereof; nothing to prove it /ownership/.”
A.Lembergs also explained why prosecutors do not want to admit that the owners of 29 companies are legal entities, not A. Lembergs: “Then the accusations collapse like a house of cards. But is such an option acceptable, for Lembergs' accusation to collapse? No! My dear political opponents, Mr Bordāns, is it okay or not? Clearly, it is not and must not be allowed to happen. Therefore, I did not understand why the honorable court refused to add this letter from R. Meroni to the case file. That is crucial evidence for me.”
Only in the case of Meroni did not ask for legal aid abroad
A. Lembergs also touched upon the committed illegalities upon seizing property in the criminal proceedings: “In December 2007, a decision was made to seize property. The property is abroad, the decision is made in Latvia. A request for legal aid must be sent abroad. It was once reported in the press that Lembergs had a lawsuit in London - a noose around his neck and he'll be hanged on a telephone pole. But London also sent a request for legal aid /to Latvia/. Have there been any cases in this criminal case where requests for legal aid have been sent abroad for the seizure of property? Yes, but only in all cases where these assets were not with Rudolfs Meroni, but with another manager. The prosecution approach is - there is Meroni and then there are others. Property not managed by Meroni, including bank accounts, was seized through legal aid. As for Rudolfs Meroni, there has been no request for legal aid between December 2007 and February 9, 2021, and therefore all the property in his care was not seized. The need to finally seize the property /in accordance with the law/ has been talked about by the lawyers of the property owners, my political competitors and even my enemies. For example, Olafs Berķis filed an application in court. The question is: why were the actions taken in all cases in accordance with the law, but not in one /Meroni's/ case? How to explain it? If a request for legal aid is legalized and an arrest is made abroad, then the property is done with /it is actually seized/. A book "Zagļi Lemberga kurpēs" (Thieves in Lembergs' Shoes) has been written on this issue. Everything written there has been confirmed over time. It's really about thieves in Lembergs' shoes. This book is still available. If a whole group of prosecutors break the law, it is already a systemic matter."