Crime Briefs: Short Arm of the Law, Bad Karma, Slap on Wrist for Corporal Punishment ({{commentsTotal}})

Liis Haavel: convicted fraudster, fraud victim Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

What happens to Estonian scofflaws who happen to have skipped the country? If the case of one man is any indication, courts are likely to close the books instead of throwing the book at defendants.

Pärnu County Court closed its proceedings in a case of a man convicted of drunk driving this week as the court was unable to remand the man into custody for failing to pay his fine. Police on Saaremaa fined the man, identified only by his first name Kuldar, 767 euros in January 2011. After the man did not pay, the prefecture petitioned the court to issue an arrest warrant, local paper Meie Maa wrote. The court held a hearing, to which the man was to be summoned to show cause, but the summons could not be served as Kuldar is now living in Australia. The court said its hands were tied and the case was dismissed.

Estonia's most prominent fugitive continues to be Anna-Maria Galojan, who fled her embezzlement prison sentence for Britain, which has said it is unable to send her back to Estonia due to a technicality.


Liis Haavel, who was convicted in a high-profile fraud case, has herself fallen victim to fraud - in this case telephone fraud - perpetrated by a fellow prisoner. The co-prisoner made 75 euros worth of phone calls on Haavel's account. The 21-year-old who made the calls was punished with 240 hours of community service. Haavel is serving a four year, two month sentence for defrauding pensioners. She is due to be released next year.


A Lääne-Viru County basic school headmaster who administered corporal punishment to a 10-year-old boy escaped criminal sanctions but will have to pay 320 euros in fines. On May 7, the director struck the boy twice on the head during an exchange of words after the boy was caught leaving bicycle skid marks on a school stadium track. The boy complained of headache afterwards, but the victim's parents sought an out-of-court settlement and the director was allowed to continue in his job.

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