The Minister of Justice Hanno Pevkur said he does not support a public register of sex offenders, preferring to hand more power to the police.
Speaking on ERR radio on Wednesday, Pevkur said the police had proposed setting up such a register, but added that the Punishment Register is already open for public viewing.
“Every person has the right to request data on others from the Punishment Register, which has a separate search option for accessing information concerning crimes committed against minors. If someone wants to hire a babysitter or an employee, then they can check the registry to see if that person's history is clean or not,” said Pevkur.
The minister added that he is ready to talk about a separate registry for police use. It would have pictures and up-to-date addresses of all offenders.
He said that from 2009, police have the legal right to check up on sex offenders who served a punishment but are now free. Pevkur added that the law does not apply to offenders who were punished before 2009.
From June 1, a new law will come into affect, allowing sexual offenders to be chemically castrated, but only with the criminal's consent. Pevkur said that it is currently unknown how the law will work in practice and who will administer the punishment.
Pevkur's comments come after a former journalist and businessman, Toomas Meola, previously known as Toomas H. Liiv, was charged on Monday for sex offenses, having already spent over two years in jail on similar charges from 2006.