Tarand: I have not received a claim letter from Helme yet

Indrek Tarand
Indrek Tarand Source: Kadri Põlendik

Mart Helme said via his lawyer on Monday that he has sent a warning and a claim for compensation to Indrek Tarand and Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Tarand has received no such letter.

Former deputy secretary general of the foreign ministry Indrek Tarand told ERR that claims according to which he has received a letter from Helme are false.

"One can go to court once one is summoned. As things stand, I have merely read about letters supposedly sent to me and Toomas Hendrik Ilves from the Delfi news portal that Martin Helme recently described as fake news. I checked the mailbox this morning as well as my email and there was no letter," Tarand said.

He added that should he receive a letter, he will surely respond within 30 days.

"Every citizen is free to turn to court. It is provided by the Estonian Constitution and laws," Tarand said, commenting on Helme's promise to litigate if necessary.

In addition to recanting claims according to which Helme misused funds as ambassador to Moscow in the 1990s, Mart Helme is also demanding both Tarand and Ilves pay him compensation of €50,000 for non-material damage.

"I cannot imagine where that supposed pain is from. I also have an ongoing case against the board of NGO EKRE where I am seeking the refutation of false claims. Whereas I have not yet decided on compensation," Tarand said.

In 2018, EKRE accused Tarand of forcing his way onto the stage at a migration framework protest while drunk. Police testing showed that Tarand was sober and he is now demanding EKRE to publicly overturn its previous claims.

"Once we've settled that matter, we can see who is in how much pain," Tarand said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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