Mihhail Korb will resign from the position of secretary general of the Center Party, deputy Center Party chairman and member of the board Jaanus Karilaid told ERR on Tuesday evening. The move comes after corruption allegations related to the Porto Franco real estate development were announced by the Internal Security Service.
Karilaid said: "We have received preliminary explanations. At the moment, he does not see his guilt, but there are procedures - interrogations, inquiries and collection of evidence. But he, yes, he claimed that he did not feel that he had done something wrong." He added that it is also known the prosecutor's office has more information which will be heard in the future.
"Mikhail Korb is already an experienced politician and he has already told the party's leadership that he will not continue as party secretary general for as long as the investigation lasts. All other options depend on further proceedings," Karilaid said.
The Center Party's board will gather tonight to discuss the situation. "We take this suspicion very seriously. We are ready to fully cooperate with the investigative bodies," Karilaid said.
Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that members of the Internal Security Service (ISS) are investigating the offices of state credit agency KredEx, in connection with the Porto Franco real estate development in Tallinn which received €39 million in state aid last year.
The Public Prosecutor's Office said it suspects five people and the coalition Center Party of criminal involvement including Secretary General of the Center Party Mihhail Korb, adviser to the Minister of Finance Kersti Kracht and businessman Hillar Teder.
The Center Party is suspected of trading in influence (also known as influence peddling), State Prosecutor Taavi Pern said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Editor: Helen Wright