Helmes awaiting changes from chief prosecutor's candidate
Interior Minister Mart Helme and Finance Minister Martin Helme, respectively chairman and one of the top policymakers of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said on Sunday that while they are generally satisfied with the selection of justice Andres Parmas as the candidate for the post of prosecutor general, they expect the new prosecutor general to make changes to the work of the prosecutor's office, Postimees said.
"For us it is important that fresh blood will come to the prosecutor's office from outside. And that a justice with a good background has been found is excellent," Martin Helme said on TRE radio's Raagime asjast program.
Mart Helme meanwhile said that "his [Parmas'] first utterances have been such that I don't see a very big shift in the approach to the Estonian legal system, also the abuses of the Estonian legal system, indeed."
The chairman of EKRE said he wants to see the new chief prosecutor's actions first.
"Whether he will allow the prosecutor's office to go on functioning as the same kind of political instrument that evolved under Lavly Perling, or he will change things and transform it into a genuine instrument of law enforcement, not an instrument of political score-settling," Mart Helme said.
Martin Helme said that for him the litmus test for the new chief prosecutor is whether the prosecutor's office led by him "will pick up the phone and start to investigate, say, the behavior of the Veterinary and Food Board when it comes to favoring some market participants and closing down others."
Justice Minister Raivo Aeg told Postimees that as he gets from the statements and attitudes expressed by the Helmes, they should not have any problem endorsing Parmas as the new chief prosecutor.
"If everything goes according to plan, then at the end of the year, even in the very last days," the Isamaa minister said when asked when the new chief prosecutor could start work. He said that in accordance with an agreement, Parmas will finish everything he needs to in his current job.
The minister of justice added that the government could make the corresponding decision already the week after next.
The term of Prosecutor General Lavly Perling ended on Oct. 31 this year. It was announced on Friday that the minister of justice will propose that the job be given to Parmas, who used to be a member of Isamaa and Res Publica Union, predecessor of present-day Isamaa, from 2006 to 2013. The prosecutor general is appointed to office by the government on the proposal of the minister of justice after considering the opinion of the legal affairs committee of the Riigikogu. The tenure of the chief prosecutor lasts five years.
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Editor: Helen Wright