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Deputy Mayor Heads to Court Again, Charging Defamation

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart is again going to court in a bid to set the record straight over claims made by a journalist.

Kõlvart is upset over a story by Tuuli Koch of Postimees entitled "Movements of city money connected to deputy mayor investigated," published on September 25.

Koch, winner of the 2010 Bonnier Award for investigative journalism, has been subpoenaed to testify about the facts underlying the article.

The article states that the Estonian Taekwondo Association received funding from the city budget. The amount, Koch said, did not show up in any public requests for funding. Kõlvart is connected to the organization.

"Postimees has learned that the Financial Supervision Authority's money laundering information office is interested in 63,912 euros received on February 22, 2012 from the city chancery's account to the account of the NGO Taekwondo Association," read the article.

Also suspicious, the article said, was that administrative paperwork was filed after the fact.

Kõlvart was also interviewed and quoted in Koch's article. He said the assistance was for organizing the European championships in taekwondo, the martial arts world games in 2011 and a third tournament, BaltCup 2011.

The best known court case involving Kõlvart was when he took Estonia's national security agency to court after the organization had said he was manipulated by the Russian Federation. Kõlvart lost in that instance, but later prevailed against a blogger who drew conclusions related to the yearbook.


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