Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee of the Riigikogu Artur Talvik (Free) said that he would like to summon Reform Party politician Eerik-Niiles Kross before the committee as well in order to get answers for questions regarding Tallinn’s Arsenal Centre. Kross has agreed to appear before the committee, however he has referred to their activity as political boasting.
Talvik told ERR’s radio news that the committee lacks the capability to identify all current holdings in Arsenal Centre, including hidden stakes. "Even if we were an investigation committee, the Riigikogu’s Committee of Investigation wouldn’t have enough opportunities to clarify this issue," said Talvik. "This is a weak spot in such parliamentary supervision."
According to the committee chairman, the question is whether or not there were any more politicians behind Aadu Oja, director and one of the owners of the shopping center’s parent company Arsenal Center.
Asked whether Kross could be involved, Talvik said he didn’t know. The latter noted, however, that Kross was one of the individuals that had previously directed the sale of the property of AS E-Arsenal, which was canceled at a price that was four times higher.
"If we look back to 2007, we’d like to summon someone from the Ministry of Defence, to whose portfolio this AS E-Arsenal belonged," said Talvi. "And Eerik-Niiles Kross too, if possible, who was a board member at AS E-Arsenal."
Kross confirmed that he was prepared to appear before the committee.
ERR asked Kross whether he had any holdings in Arsenal Centre and was in any way tied to it.
"Not in the least," Kross replied, noting that in Estonia, all holdings can be seen in the Central Commercial Register.
The Reform politician expanded on his thoughts as well as on that which occurred while he was board member at AS E-Arsenal.
"We had a big plan to make Arsenal into an operational national defense, defense industry business and at the time it actually still functioned," Kross explained. "When I joined the board there, it was in the red, yes. Within a couple of years we nonetheless succeeded in showing that it could have potential. My idea at the time was that Arsenal could include its property in some development project, itself be a participants and use the cash flow generated to build a new factory and make it into a modern defense industry business."
Accrding to Kross, the Arsenal property was only sol" after he had left this position. Kross noted that he lacked any more exact detail on the circumstances surrounding the sale and that he has only learned about that info via articles to appear in the news.
Kross alsoadded, that he considered the special committee’s activity with regards to Arsenal Centre as political boasting.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla