Leading prosecutor on Danske money laundering case going on parental leave

State Prosecutor Marek Vahing.
State Prosecutor Marek Vahing. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

State Prosecutor Marek Vahing, the leading prosecutor on the Danske Bank money laundering case, is going on parental leave; his work will be taken over by other prosecutors.

"Nobody is pressuring me to leave; I'm going on paternal leave," Vahing confirmed to daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL; link in Estonian), adding that he applied for parental leave half a year ago.

According to acting Prosecutor General Lavly Perling, people at the Prosecutor's Office are used to the fact that prosecutors on major criminal cases change sometimes, and nothing grinds to a halt as a result.

"Marek has quite a number of things, and they will each find a new prosecutor," Perling told EPL. "Whether it will be one or several prosecutors taking them over should become clear soon, but everything will keep moving forward."

While there are other prosecutors in Estonia who handle money laundering investigations, Vahing is considered the most capable on these matters, EPL wrote, adding that his work is praised in Estonia and the U.S. alike.

"Prosecutors occasionally leave the Prosecutor's Office, but Vahing's departure is special, and certainly a significant loss for the state," the paper added.

Perling hired Vahing, who has a background at the Tax and Customs Board (MTA), to work for the Office of the Prosecutor General in 2017; he was working as special prosecutor for the Southern District Prosecutor's Office at the time. Vahing, it is said, has an extraordinary ability to concentrate, which is a crucial trait in complex money laundering cases, EPL wrote.

It isn't only Estonia that values the work of the Office of the Prosecutor General and Vahing; the Office of the Prosecutor General and U.S. authorities have held several meetings on the subject of the combating of money laundering, and the U.S. has supported Estonia's proposals regarding how to improve efforts to combat money laundering.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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