Court confirms Savisaar’s suspension from office
The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on followed the prosecutor’s opinion on Wednesday that the suspension of Edgar Savisaar from the office of mayor of Tallinn continues to be justified in the interest of the pre-trial investigation of the corruption case in which Savisaar is a suspect.
Savisaar's lawyer told the Baltic News Service that the defense didn’t consider the continued suspension of the mayor from office justified.
"The Internal Security Service has had the possibility to question all witnesses, and this has been done too in accordance with the court ruling. Considering that giving false testimony to an investigator is punishable pursuant to criminal law, the statements of witnesses should suffice by now. The court found, however, that in the case of witnesses, the evidence emerges only after testimony is given in court,” Oliver Nääs said.
He added that considering uniformity of legal practice, it was interesting that while in the criminal procedures surrounding the Port of Tallinn corruption case preventive measures on the suspects were lifted after the questioning of witnesses, this hadn’t been done in Savisaar's case.
"Of course we will file a new application for review immediately as soon as this becomes possible. Let me remind you that we have filed a complaint also with the European Court of Human Rights, in which we are asking it to find a breach of the principle of fair judicial procedure, since the defense has not been allowed to get familiar with the evidence that serves as grounds for the suspension from office," Nääs said.
Nääs submitted an appeal to have the validity of Savisaar's exclusion from office reassessed on 1 February. The possibility to contest the decision arose four months after the decision to suspend Savisaar, leader of the opposition Center Party, from the office of mayor of the capital city.
The decisions of the Harju County Court and the Tallinn Appeals Court to suspend Savisaar from office went into effect at the beginning of December, when the Supreme Court turned down the defense's appeal against the injunction.