Doctor attacker jailed for one-and-a-half months

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Harju County Courthouse in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A man with alleged connections to organized crime has been sentenced to a month-and-a-half real jail time over a recent attack on a senior doctor in Tallinn

Harju County Court handed Toomas Erm Wilson, 54, a six-month prison term, with a one-year probation period. Just under five months' of jail time is in suspended sentence following a plea deal Wilson entered into, after turning himself in to the police on Wednesday morning, meaning he will be incarcerated for one month and 15 days.

Wilson threw the contents of a bottle – reportedly human urine – at Talving as the latter sat in his stationary car outside his workplace, the North Estonian Medical Center (PERH) around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3. While Talving was uninjured, the assailant also slashed a car tire before fleeing the scene.

Detention followed public appeal

The accomplice, an unnamed 61-year-old man reported to have acted as Wilson's driver, was detained by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) on Tuesday and while a manhunt was launched for Wilson, which included issuing security footage of the aftermath of the attack and a recent mugshot of Wilson to the public, Wilson gave himself up to the PPA on Wednesdsay morning, expressing remorse as he did so.

The PPA and the prosecutor's office, directing the investigation as per standard procedure, initially feared the attack was related to Talving's work on the government's coronavirus advisory council, during an atmosphere of heightened tension which had seen the government pledge to protect the council's members, and its chief, Professor Irja Lutsar, more closely.

However, the PPA and the prosecutor said they were confident Talving's status on the council was not relevant, though an alternative motive has not been made public. The PPA did from the outset say the attack had been premeditated, however, and that Wilson had lain in wait for Talving.

Suspect expressed remorse

Wilson appeared at Harju County Court via video link Thursday, BNS reports, and reiterated his remorse.

Talving was also present at the hearing and gave his blessing to both plea deal and expedited procedure.

Wilson's accomplice has been released without charge, BNS reports.

Wilson was already known to the PPA and reportedly had links to the criminal underworld.

Expedited procedure is permitted in second degree criminal cases if circumstances are clear and sufficient evidence has been collected. The prosecutor must seek the court's permission within 48 hours of the suspect's apprehension.

A lawyer, Andrei Vesterinen, known for his opposition to coronavirus restrictions issued by the government and who had recently engaged in a phone conversation with Irja Lutsar on the topic for around 45 minutes was detained overnight from Thursday, February 4, and released the next day without charge.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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