Prosecutor's office: Tallinn mayor's exclusion from office remains in force
The exclusion of Edgar Savisaar from the Office of the Mayor of Tallinn as a preventive measure in a criminal investigation remains in force and simply paying a visit to the city government does not constitute a breach thereof, the Office of the Prosecutor General said on Wednesday.
Spokespeople for the Office of the Prosecutor General told BNS that the court order excluding Savisaar from office remains in force and a copy of it was sent ot the city government when the measure was implemented last fall.
"Ensuring compliance with regulations concerning visiting the city government as well as the city government's internal regulations is a duty of the city government and the relevant question must be addressed to them," said the spokespeople, "The criminal procedure does not handle these matters."
Edgar Savisaar, whom a court order excluded from the Office of the Mayor of Tallinn for the duration of a graft probe, visited the city government and visited the office of the mayor on Tuesday, city officials said.
Savisaar contracted the administrative service of the city chancellery on Tuesday to inform them of his wish to visit the workspace of the mayor, spokespeople for the city government told BNS. During the few hours that he spent on the premises, he met with members of the city government and officials and wished to talk about matters relating to both private life and the work of the city government. Savisaar also expressed his wish to visit the office of the mayor again in the future.
Deputy Mayor Kalle Klandorf (Center), however, expressed concern that Savisaar's actions may have been in conflict with the law, pointing out that the decision of a court of law was currently in force forbidding Savisaar from performing the duties of mayor and therefore his visiting the workspace of the mayor and communicating with officials may bring legal consequences for Savisaar.
"We discussed the situation in the city government and arrived at the conclusion that we of course will not start restricting Savisaar's presence in the building of the city government if he wishes to come here," said Klandorf. "Savisaar is a politician who has received a very large mandate from the residents of Tallinn and has been elected mayor by the council but cannot perform his official duties. At the same time, it is in Savisaar's own interest to avoid a situation in which his actions can be interpreted as disregarding the decision of a court of law, and for this reason officials of the city government cannot meet and discuss business with him. hile we don't know what stands behind Savisaar's wish, certainly none of us wants him to become involved in further legal hassle."
According to the deputy mayor, what this will mean in practice is that it will be possible for Savisaar to visit the workspace of the mayor under agreement with the city chancellery in the future as well, but it will not be possible for city government employees to attend meetings at his invitation, fulfill his orders or otherwise run counter to the court decision.
"We believe that Edgar Savisaar too understand that it is not possible for officials to fulfill orders issued by him, especially since Savisaar also met with people who are involved as suspects in the criminal investigation concerning him," added Klandof. "Understandably, this must not happen anymore, in the interests of both Savisaar and these officials."