Trial of Center Party Members Lurches Forward ({{commentsTotal}})

Center Party Secretary General Priit Toobal Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
The trial of the Center Party and several current and one past member for politically motivated snooping and forging of documents got off to rocky start due to one defendant not showing up.

The public prosecutor is accusing two members of the Center Party - Priit Toobaö, 30, and Lauri Laas, 39, of unlawful surveillance activities and inciting the revealing of confidential messages. Toobal, the party's secretary general, is also accused of forging documents. Former party member Ivor Onksion, 24, is accused of illegal surveillance and revealing confidential material.

Onksion has pled guilty to some counts, while Toobal and Lääs maintain innocence.

The court session, which began at 10:00 today, had to call a recess, because Onksion did not receive a writ of summons.

Defense counsel Oliver Nääs said he could not recall whether he mentioned the court date to his client. The public prosecutor, Inna Ombler, said that the defendant was occupied with work; therefore his employer was contacted. Efforts were mounted to contact Onksion though his mother. The prosecutor made the proposal to reschedule the court session for midday.

Although Onksion was eventually found, the Center Party's day in court may be the last for some time - Toobal is due to have an operation and the next hearings will be in the fall.

The Center Party is also under investigation as a legal person. The charge in that case is in relation to forging documents.

According to the accusations, Toobal and Laas incited Onksion to commit unlawful surveillance. He illegally accessed Hannes Rumm’s (Social Democrat) e-mail and forwarded the contents back to Toobal and Laas.

The secretary general of Center Party, Priit Toobal, is accused in the forging of five Center Party’s income declarations, which allegedly misrepresent cash donations amounting to 11,030.28 euros.

Ivor Onksion, a Social Democrat before he joined Center, said that the confidential materials belonging to Hannes Rumm maid their way into his possession while he was working as an adviser to Jaan Juske (Social Democrat).

Ivor Onksion was a member of the Social Democrats from 2009-2011, when he left to join the Center Party. He left Center in February 2012.

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