Ex-Member of Center Party Describes Illegal Funding Scheme, No Criminal Case to Be Launched ({{commentsTotal}})

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Tarmo Lausing
Tarmo Lausing Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

In an echo of the Reform Party's 2012 campaign financing scandal, in which a young whistle-blower stepped forward, a former member of the Center Party has said that in the 2000s he and others conscripted by him transferred the equivalent of nearly 20,000 euros of unclear origin to party coffers.

Tarmo Lausing, who left the party recently, is 30 but has held several leadership positions, including deputy chairman of the Tallinn City Council. He made the admissions in an interview with Eesti Ekspress, saying that one of the transactions was made around 2005, when a senior party member gave him the money.

"It was 250,000 kroons [15,977 euros] and I had to find donors," Lausing, who now resides in Italy,  told the weekly, which is published every Thursday.

Asked to divulge the identity of the source, Lausing said: "I don't want to say, because [this person], too, was following orders, but he or she is still in a leading position in the party and the state."

Center Party court of honor chairman Kalle Klandorf responded today, telling uudised.err.ee that his body would not investigate the accusation, saying Lausing was no longer in the party and did not name names.

The scheme described by Lausing bears a similarity to the donations that whistle-blowers in 2012 said were accepted by the Reform Party.

After the Reform Party's ex-MP Silver Meikar made his statement, Lausing wrote an opinion piece in which he called on all parties to come clean, but it did not generate much attention at the time, Ekspress reported. 

Prosecutors told Delfi today that the case would not be followed up on, as the statute of limitations - 10 years for a first-degree crime, five years for a second-degree one, which this would appear to be - has expired. 

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