RIGA - Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs' (For Latvia and Ventspils) assets, arrested in an ongoing criminal case and previously managed by Swiss attorney Rudolfs Meroni which, pursuant to the Riga Regional Court's decision, have been handed over to the Provision State Agency, have actually not been arrested as the Latvian authorities never asked their counterparts abroad to arrest these assets, Lembergs said in a statement to the media.
Lembergs believes that the court's decision to change the assets' manager is not changing anything. "The arrested assets have not been arrested. Why? Because these assets are abroad. A decision to arrest the assets was taken by a prosecutor in Latvia in 2007. For this decision to come into effect in other countries, the relevant authorities should have, based on the Latvian prosecutor's request, taken a decision that the judgment on arresting the assets, passed in Latvia, must come into effect in the relevant country," said Lembergs, pointing out that neither the Prosecutor General's Office of Latvia, nor a court took such a decision.
According to Lembergs, the value of the assets to be arrested was not established when the assets were to be arrested, even though this is what should have been done according to law. Furthermore, the assets arrested in Latvia were actually located abroad and, therefore, they were actually never arrested. As a result, Meroni cannot be removed from overseeing the arrested assets of Lembergs.
"The Prosecutor General Office's decision on arresting the assets, which has not come into force for thirteen years, states that Meroni is in charge of the arrested assets. As a matter of fact, he squandered the assets, which is what the Prosecutor General's Office has been alerted to multiple times," the Ventspils mayor said in the statement.
Lembergs believes that prosecutor Juris Juriss has been covering up the scheme, urging the authorities to look into "the prosecutor's official and unofficial email correspondence and his unofficial meetings with Meroni in pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels and other venues, both in Latvia and abroad."
As reported, the Riga Regional Court earlier this week removed Meroni from overseeing the suspended Ventspils Mayor Lembergs' assets arrested during investigation in a criminal case against Lembergs.
After put in charge of Lembergs' assets, Meroni was criticized for using this opportunity to increase his influence at Ventspils transit companies.