Reform MP asks Mart Helme about alleged illegal surveillance of Järvik

MP Urmas Kruuse (Reform).
MP Urmas Kruuse (Reform). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Opposition Reform Party MP Urmas Kruuse, deputy chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, has submitted an inquiry to Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) asking whether illegal surveillance was conducted on former rural affairs minister Mart Järvik as the latter claims.

The allegations made by Järvik are serious, Kruuse said, as surveillance activity is a breach of fundamental rights, and surveillance activity can only be conducted on the basis of written authorization by the Prosecutor's Office or a preliminary investigation judge and carried out only on people regarding whom there is evidence that they have committed a serious crime.

This is why the MP wants to know whether the ex-minister's inquiry via official letter to the interior minister was checked, who carried out the check and what kind of results were reached.

Kruuse also asked how many cases there are per year in which it turns out that illegal surveillance has taken place, and in how many cases per year it emerges that the illegal surveillance activity has been organized by investigative bodies.

Kruuse recalled that regional paper Pärnu Postimees reported in early December that Järvik told residents during a meeting in Tori that he had found a covert listening device in his office at the Ministry of Rural Affairs while serving as minister.

"How many there are, I don't know," Järvik said. "I received a device from [President of the Riigikogu] Henn Põlluaas that shows them."

While still in office on Nov. 22, Järvik sent an email to fellow party member and interior minister Mart Helme in which he expressed suspicions that his office at the Ministry of Rural Affairs had been bugged.

"I have come to suspect illegal surveillance of what goes on in the minister's office," Järvik wrote to Helme. "Listening or other kinds of devices could be installed. I am requesting an official sweep of my office by a relevant committee today."

Järvik was dismissed as minister of rural affairs on Nov. 25.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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