Domestic violence trial of ex-minister to continue next year

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Marti Kuusik. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The trial of former Estonian minister of foreign trade and IT Marti Kuusik (EKRE), who is accused of domestic violence, is to continue next year, regional newspaper Virumaa Teataja reported.

Litigation was scheduled to take place on December 21; however, spokesperson for the Viru County Court Kristi Ehrlich said that the trial will not continue on that date.

"We'll be able to say on December 21 when the litigation procedure will be conducted," she added.

Altogether ten hearings, including the preliminary hearing, have been carried out to date in Kuusik's trial. Statements by the victim, Kuusik, and witnesses of both the prosecutor and the defense counsel have been heard. 

Kuusik's trial began at the start of November. Initially scheduled to start in spring, the trial was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Viru District Prosecutor's Office is accusing Kuusik of domestic violence based on the section of the Penal Code dealing with physical abuse. Kuusik has pleaded not guilty to the charge. Former domestic partner of the accused Karin Kuusik, who is regarded as the victim in the case, has also denied the alleged violence against her. 

A criminal procedure was launched against Kuusik under the physical abuse section on April 29 to investigate allegations of domestic violence circulating in the media. Kuusik, who held the position of foreign trade and IT minister for fewer than two days, resigned and said that the allegations made against him in the media are slander. Kuusik said that he was resigning as minister for the sake of the government's peaceful work atmosphere, cleaning his reputation and protecting his family. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

Source: BNS

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