Opinion | Latvian ex-prime minister’s empire and penalty

Early bird gets the worm and the smartest and most cunning got to the privatisation process in Latvia. Then the advisor to the Minister of Agriculture of Latvia Andris Šķēle, being a clever «consultant», was in charge of the Ave Lat empire in the ‘90s. With his sparkling wine factory, windmills, bakeries and dairy companies he became the king of frozen meat and confectioneries tycoon, getting under his able wing some of Latvia’s most valuable businesses, Egils Līcītis writes for Latvijas Avīze.
He notes that unlike the trial of Aivars Lembergs, which went on at a snail’s pace, the trial of Šķēle was lightning fast. «The judge will declare the verdict in January. If the burden of guilt turns out unavoidable, the ex-politician will lose a portion of his life. Šķēle is not a man to be underestimated.»
«How could this privatisation elephant that passed through a porcelain store without breaking a single plate fall so far!» the journalist writes for Latvijas Avīze.
Līcītis also reminds that prosecutor Monvīds Zelčs has requested a three-year prison sentence for Andris Šķēle for 12 years old events, as well as EUR 1.2 million fine and confiscation of property for participation in fraud and money laundering. «This is also a rather lenient request as well, because it takes into account Šķēle’s personality (his contribution for the benefit of his homeland?), the fact that he has no previous criminal history and the fact that many years have passed since the crime had been committed.»
Read the full article at la.lv portal (in Latvian language).