Authorities not interested in former minister's bugged office claims

Former Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik.
Former Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

No action has been taken by the authorities over allegations made by former Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE) that a listening device was found in his office, said Minister of the Interior Mart Helme on Friday.

"As far as the Minister of the Interior is aware, no action has been taken following the appeal of the former Minister of Rural Affairs," Helme (EKRE) said in a written reply sent on January 3 to a question submitted by a member of the Riigikogu, Urmas Kruuse (Reform).

On December 10, Kruuse sent a written question to Helme asking if someone had bugged and was illegally listening to Järvik's office, and what the Minister of the Interior had done in verifying the former minister's suspicions.

Kruuse also asked Helme how many cases of illegal surveillance have taken place in Estonia and for a year-by-year breakdown of cases investigated by authorities.

Helme replied that 17 cases of private surveillance were registered in 2016, 71 cases in 2017, 22 cases in 2018 and 24 cases in 2019 (until December 20). There was one confirmed case of illegal surveillance and covert listening in 2017.

On November 22, Järvik sent an email to Helme saying he suspected there was an illegal surveillance device in his office. "Interception or other equipment may be installed here," Järvik wrote, asking for an urgent inspection of his office by the relevant authorities as soon as possible.

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior told ERR Järvik's letter was received on November 22, but the Minister of the Interior did not manage to deal with the matter immediately. November 25 was Järvik's last day as a minister. 

Newspaper Postimees later reported the device found in Järvik's office was WiFi signal amplifier.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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