Lembergs to receive compensation

  • 2008-09-02
  • TBT Staff

Lembergs will still have to stand trial for a number of offenses. (Photo by Mike Collier).

RIGA - The Justice Ministry has decided to compensate embattledVentpils Mayor Aivars Lembergs after three separate courts found him "notguilty" for his suspected role in the "Grinbergs affair."

Lembergs had requested 104,450 lats in compensation forbeing wrongly accused of involvement in the affair. The Justice Ministry hasdecided to partially fulfill his request, but has not yet announced the amounthe will be given, the LETA news agency reported on Sept. 2.

Lembergs said he was "forced to come to the conclusion" thatthe charges against him were unjustified, Justice Ministry Public RelationsDepartment Director Jana Saulite told LETA.

In the case, Lembergs was accused of abuse of power byfailing to carry out a government order in 2005 to give New Era party's OjarsGrinbergs a seat on Ventspils Freeport's board.

Though found not guilty in the "Grinbergs affair," theembattled mayor will still stand trial for a long list of serious charges.

Lembergs has been charged with accepting a series of bribesworth 239,670 lats (314,021 euros) in connection with extortion and abuse ofpower. He has also been charged with money laundering nearly 5 million lats inan organized group and drafting false documents.

Some of the other charges leveled against him includeconflict of interest, providing false information to government authorities andabuse of power in conducting real estate deals for personal gain.

The materials submitted to the court surrounding the case amount to 101 volumes.

Lembergs has consistently denied all of the accusationsleveled against him, calling the charges "politically motivated." He hasaccused a number of different rival politicians of helping orchestrate theaffair.

Lembergs is still barred from resuming his duties asmayor of Ventspils. He has been kept under house arrest since July 2007, thoughan earlier victory for his legal team saw him able to change the place of hisincarceration from his Ventspils flat to his spacious country house.

Lembergs was detained on March 14, 2007.

On Aug. 20, his case was handed over to the Kurzeme Regional Court for a hearing.