Prosecutor: Savisaar suspected of having misappropriated public funds
The Office of the Prosecutor General announced on Wednesday that they were adding another suspicion to the investigation of Center Party chairman and suspended Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar. Savisaar is suspected of embezzlement of the city’s funds for personal gain.
According to information available to ERR’s Estonian news portal, the suspicion concerns cases of Savisaar having misappropriated money out of Tallinn’s budget to his own as well as his party’s benefit.
The prosecution confirmed that the new suspicions were based on evidence collected in the course of the already ongoing criminal investigation of Savisaar, and concerned funds diverted to a Center Party election campaign in 2013.
Steven-Hristo Evestus, the prosecutor in charge of the case, said that if the investigation got far enough to forward evidence in the coming weeks, the case could be expected to make it to the court by early November.
Savisaar faces corruption as well as money laundering and embezzlement charges.
The initial investigation of Savisaar began in 2014, when the Electoral Committee demanded an audit of the way the Tallinn city government was using its money to support Center Party election campaigns.
The investigation so far has brought out suspicions in four instances of corruption against Savisaar. He is also suspected of money laundering as well as having accepted large amounts of money in the form of illegal donations to his party.
At the same time, the Center Party itself is being investigated for having accepted illegal donations. The Office of the Prosecutor General suspects businessmen Alexander Kofkin, Hillar Teder, Aivar Tuulberg, and Vello Kunman of having bribed Edgar Savisaar. In connection with these cases, former politician and current advisor to Kunman’s Silikaat Grupp, Villu Reiljan, as well as politician Kalev Kallo are suspected of having arranged the bribes.