Illar Lemetti, who was released from the position of secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs by the Estonian government on Monday morning, is planning to contest his release from office in court, Baltic News Service reports.
Prime Minister Juri Ratas (Centre) said that Lemetti has informed the government of his wish to contest the termination of his professional relationship in court.
"Estonia is a state based on the rule of law and he, of course, holds that opportunity," Ratas said.
The government decided to release Lemetti from office following an extraordinary phone session held on Monday morning.
As reported on ERR News, Ratas also called for Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE) to step down from his position.
According to the Civil Service Act, a secretary general can be released from office prematurely if the minister believes that their cooperation has failed and at least six months have passed since the start of the cooperation between the minister and secretary general.
Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik cited failed cooperation as the reason he wished to release Lemetti from office. Oct. 29 marked six months since the start of that cooperation.
Lemetti had been a key figure in controversy surround Mart Järvik, claiming that the latter had declined to sign a mandate which would have allowed the agricultural registers and information board (PRIA) to claim damages in an EU subsidies fraud case in which it was plaintiff. Järvik's then-advisor, Urmas Arumäe, acted as defense counsel in the case, prompting calls of a conflict of interest.
Editor: Andrew Whyte