Matti Maimets, head of the infectious diseases department at Tartu University Hospital, has been charged with bribe-taking and large-scale violation of procedural restrictions.
Maimets stands charged by the Southern District Prosecutor's Office, for participating from 2016 to 2018 in meetings where preparations were made for the public procurement of anti-retroviral medications. Since the meetings involved decisions related to pharmaceutical businesses with connections to Maimets, a conflict of interest arose which meant in line with procedural regulations, Maimets should have absented himself, which he reportedly did not.
During the same period, Maimets allegedly accepted bribes from two pharmaceutical companies' employees, with a quid pro quo that they could take part in consultations for doctors specializing in anti-retroviral treatment, according to the charge sheet.
The bribes total €1,786 for those accepted, along with one more requested – still an offense even if it did not materialize.
The University of Tartu Hospital itself has said that Maimets will continue in his position, but will not be involved in the purchasing of pharmaceuticals or medical devices, until the court decision has been delivered, according to BNS.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for April 20.
Pre-trial procedure in the case was carried out by the office for the investigation of corruption crimes at the Central Criminal Police and led by the Southern District Prosecutor's Office. In Estonia, the prosecutor's office generally directs investigations.
Editor: Andrew Whyte