Gallery: Louis Freeh attends Riigikogu special committee meeting ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The Riigikogu's anti-corruption committee and the state budget special committee are holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss the agreement with the law firm Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan and the government on Monday.

Louis Freeh is in Estonia and Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said they would both attend the meeting.

Freeh was not invited to the committee meeting and a debate arose as to whether he was entitled to attend at all. However, he was allowed into the meeting room, ERR was told by the Riigikogu's press service.

Adviser to the Minister of Finance Kersti Kracht said Freeh is in Estonia to fulfil the agreement concluded and will stay until Wednesday.

In July, Martin Helme signed a €3 million agreement with the United States law firm Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP to provide legal services to the Estonian state in international money laundering investigations. 

The law firm will be a partner for the Estonian state in investigating the major money laundering cases in the USA in recent years.

However, the details of the agreement have not been made public and have raised questions among the public and politicians, which is why committees are holding a meeting.

Background

Louis Freeh, former FBI director and leader of the American law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan was hired to provide legal services to the Estonian state in international money laundering investigations.

However, a United States Senate report revealed he has had several contacts with Russian authorities and a company involved with money laundering.

An investigative piece published by daily Eesti Päevaleht on July 28 made the claim that lawyer Louis Freeh - a former FBI director - had previously represented Russian company Prevezon, which had allegedly laundered around €6 million via the now-defunct Estonian branch of Danske Bank.

Martin Helme rejected EPL's claims, calling the article slanderous. He added that the agreement brought a front-rank U.S. law firm, which has also worked with the U.S. government, and with experience in international financial crime representation, on board for Estonia.

Last week, opposition MPs Jürgen Ligi (Reform) and Katri Raik (SDE) made a proposal to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) to terminate the agreement concluded by the minister of finance with the US law firm Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan (FSS) due to the agreement being dysfunctional and incompatible with Estonia's interests.

The report was approved by three out of the five members of the anti-corruption select committee and no proposals were made in the report's approval round in the state budget control select committee. 

Ligi and Raik said the minister of finance, Martin Helme, has repeatedly lied about the circumstances of signing the agreement and also misled the prime minister.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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