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Journalists details Lembergs, Šlesers and Šķēle eras in Diena

Guntis Bojārs/youtube.com.
Journalist Guntis Bojārs, who was once the acting editor of Diena newspaper, mentioned in his testimony to Saeima’s investigative committee periods when Aivars Lembergs, Ainārs Šlesers and Andris Šķēle tried influencing work there.

Bojārs said that he did not feel any particular amount of pressure. He added that thanks to close cooperation with members of the editorial attempts to manipulate contents were unsuccessful. He also explained that he had never met any of the aforementioned men or had seen them in the offices of Diena at any point.

He says that one of the attempts took place in July 2009 after the publication of Digitagate 2 article, which detailed information inconvenient for Šlesers, Lattelecom chairman Juris Gulbe and Lattelecom itself. This is when very major changes started for Diena, both in relation to the newspaper and Bojārs – both were sued, including by Lattelecom.

Management was replaced soon after. The general mood, according to Bojārs, was as though there had been a change of government. While until then it had been considered that «Lembergs was in charge» of Diena, after those events it seemed more like Šķēle had taken over. Sergejs Ancupovs, in particular, was appointed as Diena’s new editor. This person was a candidate supported by Šķēle’s associate – Mārcis Bendiks, Bojārs said.

Diena’s workers did not accept Ancupovs because of his drastic approach. The situation went as far as putting release of the newspaper at risk. To find a way out of this situation, Bojārs, as Diena’s media editor, decide to fire Ancupovs.

After that, Viesturs Koziols ‘arrived’ as the new head of the board. Thus began the Šlesers era in Diena.

Bojārs also said that he did not show articles prior to their publication to any of his direct superiors, Koziols included.


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