Court rejects Lembergs' claim for compensation, again

On October 30, the administrative district court rejected a claim by the former mayor of Ventspils, Aivars Lembergs, who wanted compensation for what he said was damage to his health while serving time behind bars for crimes of corruption.

Lembergs was hoping for 100,000 euros from the state for the alleged effect on his well-being, but the court turned him down. The verdict can be appealed and probably will be considering that the former political fixer invariably does so when a verdict goes against him. An earlier verdict from another court also rejected his claim.

Lembergs has been found guilty of taking bribes, laundering money, unauthorized participation in a property transaction, and falsification of documents.

As previously reported, courts started hearing the Lembergs case back in 2009 and its on-again, off-again character over the next decade became increasingly absurd, with delays frequently occuring as a result of the defendant's claimed medical infirmities.

Yet despite the fact that he was being tried on serious fraud and corruption charges, Lembergs continued to play a very active role in politics, via his patronage of the Greens and Farmers Union political force. On a weekly basis, he would also opine on matters of world and domestic politics via the Ventspils municipal website, frequently referring to himself in the third person.

The imposition of U.S. sanctions in 2019  courtesy of the Department of the Treasury  saw his reputation as an untouchable shattered, though the convicted criminal continues to garner surprising support among sections of society even today.

Just a year ago he was the official pick of the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) party for the post of Prime Minister ahead of October Saeima elections – despite the fact he was behind bars at the time. More recently, his name has been circulating again in connection with the inclusion of ZZS in the new government coalition and the appointment of a new parliamentary speaker who has previously expressed strong support for the sanctioned convict. 

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