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Former member of the board of Sanknia, Bergers, loses in the lawsuit regarding transfers from companies used in money laundering / Diena & More Latest News Here

 

In 2019, Berger sued “Re:Baltica” for the article “Money from a laundromat for a donor of agreement, instead of answers – memory loss”. In it, based on Swedbank transfer documents obtained by Swedish public television, it was stated that Berger received 270,000 euros in 2010 and 2011 from two offshore firms used in international money laundering schemes. One of the firms was used in the so-called Magnitsky affair, the other in the “laundromat” of Azerbaijan. Berger “Re:Baltica” claimed at the time that he did not remember such transfers and would not comment.

He appealed to the court and demanded compensation of 25,000 euros from “Re:Baltica”. Berger argued that since he was not convicted of criminal offenses, the published news hampered his political activity, business (banks close accounts, cooperation partners stop cooperation) and caused him material losses.

The court of first instance recognized Berger’s claim as partially justified and decided to recover 8,000 euros in compensation and court costs in his favor.

Both “Re:Baltica” and Bergers appealed the verdict. Shortly before the hearing of the case in the second instance, Berger allegedly approached “Re:Baltica” with a settlement offer, offering to withdraw the claim and give up monetary compensation, if “Re:Baltica” deletes his contested parts from the publication. “Re:Baltica” refused the offer because it does not implement such a practice.

In November 2021, the Riga District Court completely rejected Berger’s claim for both honor and dignity infringement and compensation for moral damage, and ordered Berger to reimburse “Re:Baltica” legal expenses.

The court stated that the evidence base at the disposal of “Re:Baltica” was sufficient to justify what was expressed in the publication, and “Re:Baltica”, contrary to Berger’s claims, did not indicate that he was involved in money laundering, but indicated that he received money from the international for firms used in schemes.

Berger appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court, which was rejected by the court this week. As a result, the verdict has come into force, confirming that “Re:Baltica” has not violated Berger’s honor and dignity, and he must cover “Re:Baltica’s” court costs in the amount of 4853.35 euros.

In 2019, the chairman of the board of the party “Saskaņas” Nils Ušakovs (S) told LETA agency that the board of the party will not ask Berger for an explanation about the money transfers, because the board is not obliged, “based on information published in the media, which is probably misleading, to ask a person for explanations about how he made money eight years ago”.

Also, the party did not review the donations paid by Berger, as information about them is regularly provided to the law enforcement authorities, which have not expressed any suspicions.

Berger was one of the biggest donors to “Saknas”. From 2005 to the moment of publication, he had donated a little more than 140,000 euros to it.

He also donated to the party-supported associations “young.lv” and “9.maijs”, which held celebrations at the Victory Monument on May 9.

Former member of the board of Sanknia, Bergers, loses in the lawsuit regarding transfers from companies used in money laundering / Diena
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Former member of the board of Sanknia, Bergers, loses in the lawsuit regarding transfers from companies used in money laundering / Diena
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Former member of the board of Sanknia, Bergers, loses in the lawsuit regarding transfers from companies used in money laundering / Diena
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