Former education minister suspected of embezzlement

Former Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps.
Former Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps.

On Friday, Center Party deputy chairwoman and previous education minister Mailis Reps testified for the Central Criminal Police and received an official suspicion of embezzlement.

"This week, M. Reps was suspected of embezzlement. This is a preliminary suspicion and in the interests of proceedings and it is not possible to disclose the exact content at this time," the Police and Border Guard Board and the Office of the Prosecutor General stated in a joint response to daily Õhtuleht (Link in Estonian).

The embezzlement case includes, among other things, a Jura coffee machine that ended up at Reps' home, using a ministry car for a family trip to Croatia, staying in the Tartu Pallas hotel during WRC Rally Estonia last September and presenting plane tickets worth over €1,500 to the ministry for reimbursement.

Reps resigned as Minister of Education and Research in November 2020, after Õhtuleht provided photographic evidence that Reps was using a ministry car for non-ministry tasks, mainly taking her six children to and from school and kindergarten, but a vacation trip to Croatia was also named.

Sources told the paper that this was a long-standing practice with some ministry staff employed specifically for child-care duties.

After Reps' resignation as education minister, the board of the Riigikogu confirmed her position on the National Defense Committee and in the European Union Affairs Committee. Jaak Aab replaced Reps as education minister and Anneli Ott took up the position of public administration minister.

Aab has now gone back to his former public administration post, with Ott moving to culture minister.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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