Court Rejects Kõlvart's Defamation Suit ({{commentsTotal}})

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart
Tallinn Deputy Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Tallinn Administrative Court has dismissed Tallinn Deputy Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart's defamation suit against the Internal Security Service.

The court ruled Wednesday that, contrary to Kõlvart's claims, the agency had made no damaging factual assertions against Kõlvart. Kõlvart said he will appeal the ruling to the Tallinn District Court, reported

For his unwillingness to compromise, thus leading to a lengthy and costly trial, the court ordered Kõlvart to pay a third of the legal fees requested by the Internal Security Service.

Last year, that agency had asserted at a press conference that Kõlvart had public and secret contacts with Russian Embassy diplomat Yuri Tsvetkov, who, it was said, could potentially manipulate Kõlvart, creating a vulnerability to foreign influence. The agency also expressed concern over Kõlvart's fight against the language policy reforms in Estonia's Russian-language schools.

The premise of Kõlvart's case was that the agency's former director, Raivo Aeg, had challenged the loyalty of the official to the Republic of Estonia.

Kõlvart had lost a related suit, over the agency's annual security report, in March. The deputy mayor had then demanded an apology and that corrections be run in the report.

In another case, Kõlvart won the first round against a blogger who claimed that Kõlvart was involved in organized crime and that Kõlvart was a contact for the Russian Embassy.

A second official, MP Yana Toom, a former deputy mayor, also went to court against the Internal Security Service over the annual report. Her complaint was rejected by the Tallinn Administrative Court last November.