Prosecutor Sees Nothing Criminal in Center Party Debt
The Prosecutor's Office has decided not to open a criminal investigation into the Center Party's outstanding debt to Midfield, a company that has for years provided services to the party in election campaigns.
A complaint was submitted to the Prosecutor's Office on September 6 by Parliament's Committee on Monitoring the Funding of Political Parties.
"In the prosecutor's opinion, the financial transactions between the Center Party and Midfield lack a criminal base that would indicate violations of the regulations regarding the party's economic activity and assets,” a statement released today by the Prosecutor's Office said.
According to the monitoring committee, Midfield has won a suspicious number of public procurements organized by the Center Party-controlled Tallinn government, prompting speculation that tenders have been fixed.
In August, Center Party Secretary General Priit Toobal sent a letter to the committee in which he denied suspicions that the debts are actually concealed loans or donations.
Midfield provided services to the Center Party for the European Parliament elections and Estonia's municipal elections in 2009, as well as for the Estonian parliamentary elections in 2011.
The party paid the company a total of 974,000 euros, according to Toobal, with 349,277 euros still outstanding.
Toobal said the party most recently made loan payments to Midfield last November. Next December, the party will begin making 50,000 euro payments each month.