Banka Baltija court case nears completion

  • 2005-04-20
RIGA 's The Riga Regional Court on Tuesday began reading the judgment in the criminal case against former leaders of Banka Baltija that went belly-up in the mid-1990s, taking down millions of dollars of savings.

Observers said the verdict was likely to be guilty.

The judgment takes up 475 pages, and the court is expected to read it for a week or so. The court said in the descriptive section of the judgment that there was proof to actions by defendants specified in the letter of indictment.

At the previous court hearing at the end of this January the defendants 's former Bank Baltija supervisory council head Aleksandrs Lavents, former bank president Talis Freimanis and former employee Alvis Lidums 's asked the court for full acquittal.

Prosecutors have demanded 13 years in jail for Lavents, nine years in jail for Freimanis and six years in jail for Lidums, as well as the confiscation of property for all three defendants. In addition, the prosecution wants the court to bar Lavents and Freimanis from any business activities for the next five years.

The counsels for the defense also sought acquittal of their clients for lack of corpus delicti and convicting proof and rejection of civil claims related to the Banka Baltija criminal case.