The Tallinn Circuit Court on Tuesday released Kersti Kracht, former adviser to the minister of finance, and businessman Hillar Teder from custody. Both are suspected of corruption crimes linked to the Porto Franco real estate development in Tallinn.
The circuit court granted the appeal by Kracht's attorneys Oliver Naas and Sander Potisepp against the court ruling ordering Kracht's into custody. It also agreed to release Teder from custody and place him under electronic surveillance.
On January 14, the Harju County Court granted the application by the Office of the Prosecutor General to take Teder and Kracht into custody for up to two months.
Teder and Kracht were apprehended, among others as suspects, on January 12. The allegations also involve the Center Party and the party's secretary general Mihhail Korb.
Teder and Korb are both suspected of influence peddling. The allegations state Teder and Korb colluded that Teder would donate up to €1 million to the Center Party before the local government elections and in return, the Porto Franco development would be permitted to build an exit route on a property of the City of Tallinn. The Center Party is being suspected of influence peddling as a legal person.
Additionally, Teder and Kracht agreed that the latter as adviser to the minister of finance would contribute towards a favorable decision for Teder in terms of a large loan sought for the Porto Franco real estate development through crisis aid measures from the state-run Kredex foundation. Teder and Kracht are also suspected of concluding a money laundering agreement to conceal the giving of a bribe to the latter.
The giving of a bribe did not take place as Teder and Kracht were apprehended by officials of the ISS.
In addition, two entrepreneurs have been declared suspects in several criminal offenses in connection with the same case.
Editor: Helen Wright