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Former member of the board of “Saskaņa” Bergers loses the lawsuit against “Re:Baltica” & More Latest News Here


Photo: Ieva Čikas/LETA

The court rejected the claim of Aivars Berger, a former member of the board of the “Saskaņa” party and one of the largest donors, against the Baltic research journalism center “Re:Baltica” (“Re:Baltica”) for insulting honor and dignity in connection with the publication that announced that he received large transfers from offshore companies used in money laundering.

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In 2019, Berger sued “Re:Baltica” for the article “Money from laundromat for agreement donor, 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 in “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 waive the financial 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 and compensation for moral damage, and ordered Berger to pay the legal expenses of “Re:Baltica”.

The court stated that the evidence base at the disposal of “Re:Baltica” was sufficient to support what was expressed in the publication, and “Re:Baltica”, contrary to Berger’s statements, 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 entered into force, which confirms that “Re:Baltica” has not violated Berger’s honor and dignity, and he must cover the court costs of “Re:Baltica” in the amount of 4853.35 euros.

In 2019, the chairman of the board of the “Saskaņas” party Nils Ušakovs (S) told LETA agency that the party’s board will not ask Berger for an explanation about the money transfers, because the board is not obliged to “ask a person for explanations based on information published in the media, which is probably misleading 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 “” and “9.maijs”, which held celebrations at the Victory Monument on May 9.


Former member of the board of “Saskaņa” Bergers loses the lawsuit against “Re:Baltica”
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