Minister: Prosecutor's Office has undergone major development in five years ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

An annotated copy of the Penal Code.
An annotated copy of the Penal Code. Source: Ministry of Justice

Many things have changed at the Prosecutor's Office over the past five years, cooperation with other institutions has become more effective and criminal cases are handled three times faster than before, Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) said in a speech at the anniversary of the establishment of the Prosecutor's Office on Friday.

"Firstly, priorities have changed, of course," Aeg said according to remarks released by the Ministry of Justice. "It has become important to support those who have suffered through crime in order to ensure they don't lose faith in the legal system, and that they believe that the state will come to their aid in difficult times."

It has likewise become important to influence criminals as effectively as possible, in accordance with the acts they have committed.

"For some, therapy is enough; for others, a very long imprisonment and the seizure of criminal proceeds must be sought in court," he explained.

"Cooperation with experts from various fields has become more important in order to ensure that criminal proceedings are as high quality as possible," Aeg said.

The minister highlighted that while the solving of a criminal case took 579 days on average in 2015, by 2018, the average was more than three times smaller at just 170 days. Likewise, while one in five criminal cases was under consideration for more than four years in 2015, such cases now make up just one percent of all cases. With these indicators, Estonia stands out in Europe, he added.

Domestic violence bigger priority

Another important change in recent years is the fact that combating domestic violence and protecting the victims thereof, first and foremost children, has become one of the priorities of the Prosecutor's Office, he said.

"The prosecutor general personally has been an important advocate in this, having helped raise societal awareness and encouraged victims and children to seek help and report violence," Aeg said. "The Prosecutor's Office together with its partners has also employed work methods which ensure effective help for violence victims and the rapid bringing of criminals to justice."

Cooperation in the broadest sense, he added, could be considered one of the keywords to be highlighted in recent years' developments at the Prosecutor's Office.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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