Confusion in vote buying case

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The latest in a series of bizarre vote-buying cases linked to parliamentary elections in 2014 turned stranger by the minute Monday with the accused disputing precisely who they had been buying votes for. 

At the Daugavpils Court Monday, two defendants, Anatolijs Sproge and Fjodors Martinovs, pleaded guilty to buying votes in favor of the Unity party - not the Harmony party, as specified in their indictment.

As reported, prosecutors from the Latgale Regional Court last July charged two men with vote buying in favor of Harmony during the 12th Saeima elections.

According to the prosecutors, ahead of last year's Saeima elections Sproge "recruited" Martinovs to find persons willing to vote for Harmony's ticket in the 12th Saeima elections in exchange for money and alcohol. Sproge also requested that they put a "plus sign" next to the name of Harmony candidate Andrejs Elksnins.

LETA also reported, several persons have been convicted of vote buying during the 12th Saeima elections in favor of Unity's MP Dzintars Zakis. These include Viktors and Aleksandrs Balabolins, Jevgenijs Brovcenko, Andrejs Sackovskis, Guntis Veldre, Arturs Kleins, Dolars Kleins and former MP Igors Aleksandrovs, who were sentenced to community service and fines.

Last October, Kuldiga District Court convicted Artis Berics and Artis Jaunzems of vote-buying during the 12th Saeima elections, and sentenced them to community service. Both were suspected of buying votes in favor of Martins Martinsons, a candidate from the Union of Greens and Farmers.

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