Three found guilty of brutal assault on Dutch soldier

Three residents of the Latvian port city of Ventspils were found guilty Friday of an unprovoked assault on a member of the Dutch military last year.

Andris Veldre, Oskars Ozols and Romans Zubkov were found guilty of the notorious beating they handed out together in a Ventspils nightclub that left the 21-year-old Dutchman unconscious when he reached hospital.

Veldre was sentenced to three years and three months' imprisonment, as well as police supervision for two years. Ozols was sentenced to four years in prison and police supervision for two years.

Zubkov was sentenced to a three year suspended sentence.

The case made even more headlines as it came when Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs was describing NATO troops in the town as part of the Open Spirit 2014 exercises as "occupiers".

He subsequently expressed sympathy for the attackers and wrote a letter to the NATO secretary general complaining about the behavior of military personnel and demanding an apology.

Despite being described as a national security risk by then-Defense Minister and now-President Raimonds Vejonis, Lembergs remains an influential figure within the Greens and Farmers Alliance and the ruling government coalition as a whole.

He is currently on trial on charges of massive graft in a case which has lasted more than 8 years with no end in sight.

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