Former Tallinn mayor Jüri Mõis said, commenting on the recent corruption scandal involving Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar, that corruption is more widespread on the local government level, compared to the national government.
Savisaar is accused of accepting multiple bribes for himself and his party. He was detained, questioned, and later released on Tuesday.
Mõis, speaking on ETV, said the case did not come as a great surprise to him as similar events are not uncommon in the world, adding that Savisaar has had a relatively clean background.
“I have heard rumors, but nothing serious has reached my ears,” he said.
“In principle, corruption has been a greater problem on the municipality level than on the state level, as there are more concrete opportunities, such as planning permissions, while the state is more of a law creating institution and corruption is less common,” he said.
A criminal charge is a serious matter, Mõis said, adding that authorities must have something to back it up with. He said he does not believe the charges are politically motivated.
“This is a fairly silly suggestion by the Center Party,” Mõis said, commenting on the fact that the Center Party said the case is an attempt to draw attention from the Port of Tallinn corruption case, which involves a number of Reform Party members or supporters.
Editor: J.M. Laats