Politician Says He Counted Secret Cash with Simson ({{commentsTotal}})

Mart Viisitamm Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Another politician has come forward to accuse the Center Party of - and himself confess to - conducting secret financing schemes.

Center Party member Mart Viisitamm recounted to Eesti Päevaleht how he and Kadri Simson, the MP who yesterday denied similar accusations from another source, allegedly counted and divided up cash of an unreported source.

"One part went toward paying the bills and another part went toward supporting MPs," Viisitamm said.

Simson, the party's deputy chairwoman, was yesterday accused by an ex-party member laundering 350,000 Estonian kroons several years ago. She has dismissed the claims, saying they are politically motivated in the run-up to the October 20 elections.

Simson said she would not seek legal retribution if her accuser, Tarmo Lausing, the former head of the party's youth organization, apologizes after the elections.

"I have been in politics for long enough to know that scandals such as these are organized immediately before elections," Simson told ETV.

"Talk of suitcases full of kroons is very attractive, but I think that it is something that remained in the previous century. There are these business and political norms in Estonia that are no longer used, and a lot of things that were accepted in the past century are no longer done, because it is not appropriate," Simson said.

In a less pointed criticism, MEP Vilja Savisaar-Toomast - the ex-wife of Tallinn's mayor who recently switched from Center Party to the Reform Party - told Eesti Päevaleht that while a leadership member of her former party, she had always been perplexed by the veil over the origin of funding.

"There was the revenue account and the expense. Expenses were always explained in detail, but revenue only had a single line: sponsors' money," she said.

"Sometimes I asked who the sponsors were and whether agreements with them have already been signed, but I never received an answer," she said.

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