Former hospital managers charged with corruption (1)
The Office of the Prosecutor General is bringing to court a criminal case in which the former chief executive, the catering chief, and the IT director of Estonia's largest hospital, the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH), stand accused of corruption, fraud, and embezzlement.
In addition, charges were brought against the catering service provider and its manager.
According to the statement of charges, the former CEO of PERH, Tõnis Allik, repeatedly accepted bribes in return for ensuring that the company charged in the same case could continue to provide catering services to the hospital over years.
The company paid for several of the ex-CEO’s trips to the Oktoberfest beer festival in Bavaria among other things, the prosecutor's office said.
PERH’s catering chief Anu Vähi also stands accused of taking bribes to serve the interests of the caterer.
In addition, Allik as well as PERH’s IT chief, Marko Kilk, are charged with fraud and embezzlement in connection with combining business trips abroad with vacations together with family members at the expense of the hospital’s IT systems developer.
“The charges are not connected with the treatment of patients. The Office of the Prosecutor General finds that it is necessary to pay attention and accordingly respond to such cases in the future as well,” Steven-Hristo Evestus, the prosecutor in charge of the case, said on Monday.
Allik doesn’t see himself as guilty. “I reckon I have run this hospital for 13 years in a way that all our decisions have served the hospital's interests, and I never knowingly violated any law. That participation in a client event can be viewed as criminally punishable was news to me,” Allik told BNS in June.
Allik announced his resignation from the position of chairman of the board in mid-June. The board also suspended the IT director and the catering chief.
The investigation was conducted by the corruption crimes bureau of the Central Criminal Police and led by the Office of the Prosecutor General.