Assar Paulus gangster case: Sentences to be tied to plea bargain
In an organized crime case better known as the Assar Paulus case, the state prosecutor asked for Paulus to be given a sentence of seven years in jail under a plea bargain deal. Assar Paulus is the alleged figurehead of a criminal group.
Prosecutor Andres Ulviste said that Paulus was guilty of forming and leading a criminal organization, counterfeiting a document, and using this counterfeited document and should be punished with seven years in prison according to a plea bargain they had reached with the defense.
The starting date of Paulus’s sentence would be April 14, 2014, when he was arrested as a suspect. Under the same agreement, a €20,000 deposit made by Paulus would be confiscated.
The prosecution concluded agreements with 13 people and businesses. The agreements have yet to be carried by the court.
The accused that agreed to a plea deal include 11 people — Assar Paulus, Taago Vool, Jaanus Kivimaa, Ragnar Toom, German Svetsnikov, Erik Meier, Virgo Raudsepp, Gennadi Starodubtsev, Sivart Saarmann, Ats Pärnaste, and Runno Kristjuhan — and two companies, Barbarossa Invest and Capital Inkasso.
For Barbarossa Invest, the prosecutor is seeking a fine of €10,000 on suspended terms with a three-year probation.
The punishment for Pärnaste would be four years and six months in jail, the punishment for Vool four years and three months in jail, and the punishment for Kivimaa three years in jail, the portion of which not yet served by the defendant would be conditional with a probation period of three years.
Capital Inkasso would have to pay a fine of €30,000 on suspended terms with three years of probation, Svetsnikov would have to serve a jail term of three years and nine months, Kristjuhan three years conditionally with a three-year probation, and Raudsepp ten years and six months. Raudsepp’s sentence under the plea bargain would include punishment for an earlier offense.
The punishment for Saarmann would be three years in jail, for Meier three years and nine months in jail, for Starodubtsev three years and nine months in jail. Toom would get a suspended sentence of three months in jail with one year of probation.
The Harju County court started handling the large-scale case in June last year. Three men, including Paulus, stand accused of leading a criminal organization, and 18 men and one woman of belonging to a criminal group.
Altogether 26 people and two companies have been charged. According to the charges, Paulus, now 53, headed a criminal group as of the beginning of 2006. The criminal group was engaged in drug crimes, extortion, and other economic crimes. The charge sheet says that it was Paulus who gave commands in the criminal group for organizing and committing crimes as well as distributing monetary gains.
The charges include human trafficking, extortion, money laundering, the unlawful handling of firearms, forging documents, tax evasion, and giving false testimony.