Committee formed to investigate minister of rural affairs

Commission member Airi Mikli.
Commission member Airi Mikli. Source: ERR

Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop set up a commission on behalf of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on Wednesday, which will deliver findings on the issues raised in the area of ​​the Ministry of Rural Affairs within ten days.

Peterkop invited a representative of the National Audit Office ( Riigikontroll), Airi Mikli, Marje Kase, representative of the Chancellor of Justice, and head of the legislative department of the State Chancellery Margus Mati, as members of the committee. "If necessary, we will involve other people in the work of the Commission," added Peterkop.

The Commission will present its conclusions to the Prime Minister regarding the Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE) and authorization of the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA), the activities of the ministerial advisor, the flow of information on Listeria bacteria, and possible interference in the work and supervision of the Estonian Veterinary and Food Board (VTA).

Peterkop said he would ask the parties to send all materials to the commission, adding that its first meeting would take place on Wednesday, in order to organize work arrangements.

"The Commission does not have much time, but we will certainly bring clarity to the issues that have arisen," the Secretary of State added.

The deadline for the commission's results is Nov. 23.

Järvik was at the center of controversy late last week over a conflict of interest which saw his former advisor, Urmas Arumäe, representing defendants in an EU subsidy fraud case against the agricultural registers and information board (PRIA), a body which falls under the rural affairs ministry's remit.

Arumäe stepped down on Friday, but opposition parties are maintaining pressure for Järvik, already embroiled in a Listeria controversy at a fish-packing plant, to resign.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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