Hundreds Carry Official Crime Suspect Status for Years ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Prosecutor's Office processed 84 cases last year where someone had been an official suspect for more than four years. Another 285 people have been waiting for at least two years to be cleared or charged.

Prosecutor General Norman Aas said in a Prosecutor's Office annual report, published last week, that the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly drawn attention to the need to investigate cases in a sensible timeframe, Postimees reported on Sunday.

All in order, says ministry

According to the ministry, in 2012, the European Court of Human Rights found a total of 227 violations of the speedy trial provision stipulated in the Conventions for the Protection of Human Rights, with no violations discovered in Estonia.

The Ministry of Justice today published a report by the European Commission that said the average time needed to complete action proceedings in civil cases in Estonia was 215 days in 2010, while the EU average was 284 days.

The corresponding figures for administrative matters were 146 days for Estonia and 514 days for the EU.

Minister of Justice Hanno Pevkur said that 108 percent of civil proceedings were completed in 2012, meaning courts closed more cases than were submitted to them.

Courts also processed more administrative cases than were submitted last year.

Compared to 2012, civil cases were closed 4.4 percent quicker than the previous year. Criminal proceedings were completed 23.4 percent and misdemeanor matters 34.1 percent faster than in 2011.

Only the processing of administrative matters slowed during the same time, by 3.6 percent.