Vjatšeslav Leedo, owner of a company which currently operates domestic ferry lines, said Reform Party MP Remo Holsmer asked him for a bribe. Holsmer is currently the supervisory board chairman of Port of Tallinn, which will take over the ferry routes in a year.
“I was told clearly that if I am good towards them, then anything is possible. There is no doubt, I was asked for a bribe,” Leedo told Eesti Päevaleht, adding that he is a businessman with vast experience and that he knows if he is given hints.
Holsmer denied the allegations, saying he is ready to go to court against Leedo.
The talk where the alleged hints took place, happened a year ago, and so far, neither party has turned to authorities. Port of Tallinn won the tender to provide domestic ferry services between the nation's mayor islands a year ago, and it will replace Leedo's company in September 2016.
Authorities said there is no basis to begin an investigation. Authorities are investigating corruption at state-owned Port of Tallinn, but on the management, not supervisory board level. The company's two-man board are under arrest for allegedly taking and giving bribes, and money laundering.
Leedo also said former economy minister Urve Palo (Social Democrat), who finalized the tender, is lying about a number of details of the tender. He said the first round was organized to see their bid, which then could be copied by Port of Tallinn in the second round. He said the new ferry boats the Port of Tallinn has purchased, will be more expensive than told to the public.
Reform Party minister Jürgen Ligi said the supervisory board had no power to change the course of the tender for the ferry service.
Ligi said Palo, when replacing Juhan Parts (IRL) in March 2014, was hostile towards state companies, adding that the ferry tender was aimed at winning the elections, and at getting back at Leedo.
Editor: J.M. Laats