Supreme Court: Center €40,000 PBK shows were prohibited donation

Center Party headquarters in Tallinn.
Center Party headquarters in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The ruling Center Party must return over €40,000 arising from a sum judged by the Supreme Court to have been a prohibited donation relating to advertising on Russian-language TV channel PBK.

Center had appealed an earlier ruling, which the Supreme Court overruled.

The Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) issued a precept to Center in October 2018 in respect of a series of Russian-language programs broadcast on PBK, which it found constituted electoral advertising, ahead of the October 2017 local elections.

The content broadcast the views of Center and its politicians, the ERJK found; since the programs were paid for by Tallinn City Government, which is Center-dominated, this was found to constitute a political donation.

Center challenged the appeal at the first- and second-tier administrative and circuit courts, and was overruled in both cases before the case ended up at the Supreme Court, which issued its ruling Tuesday.

Pervõi Baltiiski Kanal (PBK) is a Russian-language channel broadcasting in the Baltic States, which aired shows at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and then, after a break of a few weeks, started up again in Tallinn only, through to year end.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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