The Ministry of Justice has defended granting an award for civic heroism, after criticism from a person who in 2005 was assaulted by the recipient of the award.
Justice Ministry press representative Maria-Elisa Tuulik told uudised.err.ee that the award's judging panel had taken a second look after criticism emerged in the media, but upheld its decision.
"The members of the committee found that the deed for which the medal of honor was given probably saved another person's life and this courageous deed was worthy of the civic heroism award. The committee therefore did not see it necessary to change its previous decision," Tuulik said.
The ministry had previously said that receiving the award presumes a clean record, but that the ability for individuals to change themselves for the better should also be taken into consideration.
The man in question, now 26, received the decoration for a deed in September, in which he and another man helped save the life of a stabbing victim in Tallinn's Old Town and proceeded to catch the suspect.
However, no sooner was the award bestowed than the Samaritan's own record came under scrutiny. In 2005, the man and two others ganged up on an individual in a Tartu apartment, for which the man was handed a conditional sentence three years ago. The crime has since been wiped from his record.