meeting politicians in a cafe – a motivating conversation or a transfer of money? / Article /

The scandal caused by Māris Mičerevskis, a former member of the party for the development of Latvia (LA), Riga City Councilor, has not subsided even after the former party leader Juris Pūce renewed the mandate of the Saeima deputy. Until suspicions about LA’s finances have been resolved, the association “For Development / For!” the future.

The Latvian television program “de facto” has at its disposal three-year-old correspondence between Pūce and Mičerevskis, which is related to the meeting between the two in the café “Cidonija” in Berga Bazaar. Both participants explain it quite differently. The party’s interim leader, Ivars Ijabs, who accused Mitcherevsky of spreading false news earlier this week, admitted to the “de facto” correspondence that he no longer knew what to think.

Last Saturday’s LA announcements about Juris Pūce’s resignation from the party and the association “For Development / Par!” overshadowed by what Micherevsky said on Twitter. Asked to explain why he had supported the party he planned to leave this year with generous membership fees, the deputy of the Riga City Council stated on Twitter – it was not himself, but “the money brought by Edgar”. Edgars Jaunups, a member of the LA Board, also responded to the recording, calling on Micherevski to apply to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB).

Mičerevskis says that he has done so, and to the extent that, in his opinion, would not disturb the KNAB, he also commented on his allegations “de facto”. “It simply came to my notice then. I was simply called by Juris Pūce, said that I needed to meet urgently. And somehow it was in a cafe at the time, and without explaining much, he gave me cash under the table and said that it should be counted as membership money – such a very large membership fee – because it pays less attention to membership fees. . And at that moment I was so stunned that I basically didn’t say anything in return or say anything there, ”says Mičerevskis.

Micherevsky also “de facto” forwarded the June 12, 2017 telephone correspondence with Owl. The then leader of the party, Mičerevskism, asks if he can be “caught for 10 minutes”. According to Micherevsky’s statement that he is waiting in “Quince”, Owl says that he will be right away. The next message from Pūce is LA details, bank account number and instruction to enter “Membership fee for 2017” in the payment order. The day after, on June 13, Mičerevskis transferred his membership fee of 2,000 euros to LA for the first time, according to the party financial database maintained by KNAB. On the evening of that day, Pūce writes to Mičerevskis: “Thank you!”.

Similar situations with the receipt of cash have also been repeated later, Mitcherevsky claims, “de facto”: “Most of them were in cafes at some of its meetings, but they have also been in the party office on Blaumaņa Street.” The donors were Pūce or Jaunups, but not both together, says Mičerevskis: “It is always that one of them. And I don’t know how they divide their roles there internally and what their treasury really looks like. And from where, in what shoe box, all this central deposit stands – I have no idea about it, but somehow they divide it among themselves. ”

“The last one was – I had talked to Jaunupe, but Juris Pūce gave me the money. And it happened, yes, in the lobby of the party office after some board meeting or seminar, I don’t remember. All the people were walking around, and it was just … pulled out of some pocket and gave: where she is, it now needs to be donated, ”says Micherevsky about the 2,000 euros paid in LA in 2020. The KNAB database shows that this year Mičerevskis paid the membership fee in two installments – on March 7 and 9. The first payment took place on the day when the combined “Development / About!” Was presented in Gertrudes Street, which is closed to car traffic. and the list of “Progressive” Riga City Council elections.

The owl categorically denies giving Micherevsky cash: “Nothing like that has happened, at least I definitely don’t know anything like that. I’ve never done anything like that myself. ” Pūce’s version of how to interpret the 2017 correspondence about the collision in “Quince” is also radically different from what Mičerevskis said.

“I really once seemed to be in that cafe, but maybe somewhere else, but I’ve talked a lot of times about him having … It would be good if he could support the party, pay the membership fee higher, given that he became a member of the board of our party. And we had, of course, relatively high expenses throughout this period. We called on party members, especially active members, board members, to support. And he was like that. (..) I admit that it may have been a conversation where I remind him that he may have already promised me that he would do it. That I would remind him if you could please. And most likely he tells me at the meeting, “What were the details?” This is very plausible, ”Pūce remembers the conversation in” Quince “.

Asked if, according to his version, the former head of LA met with Mitcherevsky to convince him that he needed to pay two thousand euros as a membership fee, Pūce states: “I have never told him exactly what amount to transfer, never. I invite the members themselves to assess how much they can afford to contribute, what their income is, but also, of course, outline what the needs are. ” It should be noted here that three years ago Mitcherevsky was not very wealthy. “De facto” was convinced that in the declaration he submitted at that time when he became a deputy of the Riga City Council, Micherevsky indicated savings in the amount of about three and a half thousand euros. Even later, the reported income does not show much benefit.

The owl is aware that he has recently slandered in public, so now he could not be believed, but this time Micherevsky is definitely not right. In his written answer “de facto”, Jaunups also denies that he would ever have given money to Mičerevskis or another member of “Latvijas Attīstība” or a donor with instructions to transfer it to the party: “Maris Mičerevskis, obviously, deliberately raises me and the party. That is not true. I have addressed both party members and non-members to support the party by donating. This can be confirmed by many, and I have always seen it as an important responsibility. It is also often, so to speak, a matter of persuasion, motivation for the organization to work successfully, especially during the pre-election period. ”

A week ago, when Pūce resigned from the position of the head of “Latvijas Attīstība”, Ivars Ijabs, a member of the European Parliament, who joined the party a year ago, was appointed the acting chairman of the party’s board. Like Pūce and Jaunups, he also called Micherevsky this week a fake news distributor.

However, after the lists of Mitcherevsky and Puce showed “de facto”, Iabs is no longer so categorical in his assessment: “It is a bit hasty to talk about the fact from its correspondence at the moment. But, so to speak, the hint and the direction in which it is going are extremely unpleasant, and it therefore calls for concerns to be allayed as quickly and clearly as possible, that it is not simply something, as Mitcherevsky’s invention says, . I think enough people (…) could try to make such assumptions. ”

This year, there have not been too many big membership fee payers for Latvijas Attīstība. However, it is noticeable that a significant part is closely related to Jaunupe or Pūce. For example, Jaunups himself, his father, wife and sister, as well as Pūce’s former subordinates in the office of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. An intensive inflow of money took place at the end of February and the beginning of March, with several members paying 2 thousand euros, which is close to the maximum amount allowed this year – 2150 euros.

“De facto” interviewed employees of the MEPRD office, including Artūrs Toms Plešs, nominated for the post of Minister, and former Riga City Councilor Andris Bačkurs, whose Pūce lost his minister’s portfolio due to the use of a parking permit, claim that no one gave them for that purpose.

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