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Police investigating opera chief sexual harassment allegations

Aivar Mäe.
Aivar Mäe. Source: ERR

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has opened an investigation into National Opera (Rahvusooper) chief Aivar Mäe, following allegations he had sexually harassed women employees at the Estonia Theater, home of the opera.

Proceedings were launched on Friday under the section of the penal code relating to sexual harassment, and aim to find the course and stages of events.

"We thank everyone who have already contacted the police about this case," said PPA spokesperson Jelena Miroshnichenko.

While the allegations, which state that the incidents stretched back over a period of years, first reached the press via investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress (link in Estonian) last Monday, at least two women have subsequently gone to the police on the matter, it is reported.

Mäe, who initially denied the allegations but later made a public apology and promise to rein in his behavior going forward, says he is talking to his lawyer. The National Opera's council has stood by Mäe so far, and says that since he is on vacation starting this week, it will not be approaching him in the meantime, though it will meet in the second half of this week, this time with an additional adviser.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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