Police to probe Meroni for allegedly illegal activities with Lembergs' assets

  • 2021-08-04
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The organized crime unit (ONAP) of the State Police have started a criminal probe into activities of Swiss lawyer Rudolf Meroni who used to manage the assets of former Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs (For Latvia and Ventspils), police spokeswoman Simona Gravite told LETA. 

The criminal investigation has been started based on Riga Regional Court's ancillary judgement in which the court informed about circumstances that came to light during the hearing of Lembergs' criminal case. 

Gravite said without elaborating that the criminal investigation has been launched into offenses mentioned in Chapter 18 of the Criminal Law, which speaks about crimes against property. 

LETA was told at the court that the ancillary judgement was not appealed and was thus forwarded to the State Police. 

As reported, Riga Regional Court in August 2020 removed Meroni from overseeing the suspended Ventspils Mayor Lembergs' assets arrested during an investigation of 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.

While reading the verdict in the corruption case against suspended Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs in February 2021, Riga Regional Court judge Irina Jansone announced an ancillary decision to start criminal proceedings against Meroni.

The judge indicated that the facts discovered in Lemberg's case suggest that Riga Regional Court's decision taken in August 2020 and removing Meroni from overseeing Lembergs' assets arrested during investigation in a criminal case against Lembergs, has not been executed.

The State Police launched a probe against Meroni under Section 296 of the Criminal Law for a failure to execute a court ruling or prosecutor's penal order or delays the execution thereof.

However, in April this year, the State Police ended the criminal procedure against Meroni for possible pledging of assets arrested in the criminal case against Lembergs.

The criminal case against Meroni was started over mishandling of arrested assets. Meroni had the status of a person against whom a criminal procedure has been started.

"Probing information submitted in applications on the pledged assets related with Ventspils companies, it was discovered that these assets have not been arrested in said criminal procedure. Therefore, a decision has been made on ending the criminal procedure, because the crime has not been committed," the State Police said at the time.