The corruption trial of former Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) board member Allan Kiil has been terminated on health grounds.
Harju County Court made the decision to wrap up proceedings based on a medical report Tuesday. Kiil's lawyer Aivar Pilv had filed the application, which followed a court-ordered medical examination in mid-September.
State Prosecutor Denis Tšasovskih told daily Postimees that the prosecution will not be appealing, adding that filing an appeal would cause a disruption of several months in the trial, which would cost the parties to the proceeding valuable time in court.
Internal Security Service (ISS) evidence collected over a three-year period led the prosecutor to charge Kiil and Ain Kaljurand with large-scale accepting of bribes and money laundering activities, over the period 2005-2015.
Former head of the authority's service department Martin Paide also stands charged with bribe-taking, with seven more physical, and two legal persons, of offering a bribe and complicity in bribe-giving.
Charges have also been filed against co-defendants Eno Saar, Tõnis Pohla, Üllar Raad, Sven Honga, Toivo Promm, and Jan Paszkowski, as well as the companies HTG Invest AS and Keskkonnahoolduse OU.
According to the statement of charges, Kiil and Kaljurand agreed to accept bribes from several businesses in return for continued, smooth-running contractual relations with the Port of Tallinn.
Kiil and Kaljurand allegedly accepted bribes totaling almost €4 million over the ten-year period, both together and separately, the largest proportion (around €3 million) having been offered by representatives of Turkish and Polish shipbuilding companies in return for ferry-building contracts for Port of Tallinn subsidiary TS Laevad, it is alleged. TS Laevad operates ferries between Estonia's major islands and the mainland.
Paide was ready to accept a bribe of more than €40,000, Kaljurand of around €400,000 and Kiil of €3.5 million, the charge sheet read. Paide and Kaljurand had reportedly received their sums in their entirety; Kiil over half of his before being arrested on August 26, 2015.
Kiil and Kaljurand were released in early 2016.
Valdo Õunap's case was settled as a separate matter in late May via a plea deal, handing him a conditional jail sentence of two years and six months
Kiil to get €108,000 compensation
The court resolved to compensate Kiil for procedural costs in the amount of €108,000. The costs of the medical examination will be borne by the state.
The court did not involve Allan Kiil as a third person or a defendant in civil procedure. The assets seized from Kiil were returned to him in full. The court, however, did maintain a seizure on a sum of of €879,863.50 seized as object of money laundering.
The court resolved to dismiss a civil lawsuit against Kiil.
The court will not disclose the circumstances of closing the case regarding Kiil in detail, as the information includes extremely delicate health data for the disclosure of which the court has not obtained consent from Kiil.
The court said that evidence presented in writing, the statements of Kiil's treating physician and of three forensic doctor-experts were identical, which led the court to the only possible conclusion that Allan Kiil has fallen unwell to a level described as "irremediable".
"Based on the evidence presented, the court arrived at the firm conviction that Allan Kiil is not able to take part in the court sittings scheduled for three days a week until the beginning of November 2021. As the court immediately ascertained the inability of Allan Kiil to take part in sittings of the court and considering his irremediable illness, the court did not consider it possible to involve him as a defendant in civil procedure or a third person," the court said.
Aivar Pilv, Kiil's lawyer, described the court's order as being in line with expectations, as his health situation does not enable him to stand trial. He added that the court also discussed the option that Kiil would participate in the proceeding by videoconference, but found that even this is not possible given his state of health.
Internal Security Service handled the criminal case; the investigation was led by the Office of the Prosecutor General as per standard Estonian practise.
Editor: Andrew Whyte