Former MP punished over clemency scam

Take note – story published 9 years ago

A former member of the Latvian parliament and associate of President Andris Berzins was handed a 120-hour community service order Friday in connection with his attempt to use presidential influence to spring a contact from jail.


Andis Kaposts, a former lawmaker with the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) faction, agreed to the punishment rather than contest the charges in court, the LETA news service reported, citing information from the Prosecutor General's office.

The case had centered on Kaposts' alleged efforts to line his own pockets and help win a pardon for an associate, Aldis Zvirbulis. 

Zvirbulis was convicted of a drunk driving charge but then fled to the UK, where he was arrested by police and returned to Latvia. Upon his return he was jailed for two years.

TV3 investigative TV show 'Neka Personiga' broke the story in June along with claims that Kaposts had met President Andris Berzins to try and win clemency for Zvirbulis via the powers invested in the Latvian President.

There is no suggestion that Berzins himself was offered or solicited a bribe, but eyebrows were raised that the meeting between the two men took place at Berzins' private residence rather than his official Riga office.

Berzins was himself a ZZS MP before his elevation to the presidency in 2011.

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