Latvija in brief - 2011-09-01

  • 2011-08-31

With elections drawing nearer, Zatlers Reform Party’s (ZRP) leader, ex-president Valdis Zatlers, is voicing sharper criticism of his main political opponent - Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, the Union of Greens and Farmers’ candidate for prime minister, reported LETA. Lembergs retaliates, continuing to criticize the ex-president in his various statements. In answering questions on whether he will participate in public debate with Lembergs, Zatlers compared his opponent to a growth that should be cut out from the flesh. Lembergs has accused Zatlers of lying and double-dealing, declaring, though without any proof, that the ex-president proposed the dissolution of the 10th Saeima to form his own political career. The ex-president justified his decision to dissolve the Saeima on May 28 with his desire to combat oligarchs’ influence in Latvia. Lembergs is currently on trial for serious fraud and money laundering charges.

On Aug. 23, a burglary was committed at Zemgale District Prosecutor’s Office in Jelgava, during which several criminal cases were stolen from the office’s safe, reports LETA. The Prosecutor General Office’s representative, Laura Pakalne, confirmed that the break in took place. At the same time, Zemgale District Prosecutor’s Office Chief Prosecutor Dainis Malmanis said that Rigas Apsardze security guards received a call at 4 a.m., arrived at the scene, but did not establish any violations and left. The office’s janitor reported the break in at 6 a.m. Malmanis confirmed that several criminal process materials have been stolen from the office, but declined to comment on whether the murder case of ten-year-old Diana Kozlovska, which shocked the community in 2007, was also among them.

Guernsey businesses and residents have donated a total of 809 lats (1,155 euros) for the repatriation of Liga Verse’s body to Latvia, reports The Guernsey Press. 24-year-old Verse was found dead in her apartment in St. Peter Port on Aug. 20. Guernsey police are treating Verse’s death as “suspicious.” Inspector Phil Breban said that the investigation was proving “particularly challenging and complex.” He said that “many lines of inquiry are still to be completed. A 27-year-old man, who was previously detained on suspicion of the murder, was released on bail last week. Verse was living on the isle for several years.