Suspended Tallinn mayor Savisaar complains to European Human Rights Court (4)

Tallinn's suspended mayor, Edgar Savisaar (ERR)
BNS
2/5/2016 5:35 PM
Category: Politics

Savisaar had his lawyer file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights on Friday. The complaint questions the legal proceedings against the mayor in the course of a graft investigation in which he is a suspect.

In detail, Savisaar is asking the European Court of Human Rights to find a breach of the principle of fair process of law. This based on the fact that his lawyers were not permitted to familiarize with the evidence that served as grounds for suspending Savisaar from office.

“When someone's civil rights are at stake, a fair process settling the issue must guaranteed under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Fair process includes the possibility to familiarize with all the evidence that the positions and accusations of the opposing side are based on. For instance, the European Court of Human Rights found that the suspension of a doctor's license also has to happen in a fair process."

"It is regrettable that the possibility to work in the position of mayor of Tallinn is considered so unimportant in Estonia that the exclusion from that office may have happened with the prosecutor ignoring elementary fundamental rights,” Savisaar’s lawyer Oliver Naas said.

Savisaar himself stated in a press release that he believed that the prosecutor’s office “didn’t want to show evidence to him because then he and the lawyers for the defense could overturn the suspicions artificially created by the prosecutor, and would do it too.”

He went on to say that he considered following up the complaint with a discussion of the issue on the European level. This, he said, was necessary for the whole of Estonian society, so that it could “take a big step toward a fairer handling of criminal cases and reduce arbitrary action on the part of investigating bodies and the prosecutor's office.”

Meanwhile, the Harju County Court in Tallinn will examine an application on Monday by Savisaar’s defense to assess whether his exclusion from the office of mayor of Tallinn continues to be justified.

Dario Cavegn

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