Prosecution challenges Kracht's release from custody

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Kersti Kracht. Source: Siim Lõvi / ERR

Chief State Prosecutor Taavi Pern on Friday challenged the release from custody of former adviser to the finance minister Kersti Kracht who stands suspected of corruption offenses.

Pern did not agree with Tallinn Circuit Court's decision to release Kracht from custody on February 16 and has challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court. The latter must now decide whether to process the challenge.

The circuit court also ruled to release under electronic surveillance businessman Hillar Teder, while he will be released once the ruling enters into force provided the Office of the Prosecutor General will not challenge it.

Internal Security Service (ISS) operatives detained Hillar Teder and then adviser to the finance minister Kersti Kracht on January 12 following suspicions of corruption offenses. Suspicions were also brought against Center Party Secretary General Mihhail Korb and the coalition party.

Teder and Korb are suspected of influence peddling. According to the suspicions, it was agreed that Teder would donate a total of up to €1 million to the Center Party before local government council elections this fall. In exchange, Korb was to make sure Teder's Porto Franco real estate development is allowed to construct a parking lot access road on city land. The Center Party also stands suspected of influence peddling.

Teder is also believed to have agreed to bribe Kracht in exchange for the latter making sure KredEx crisis support measures favor Porto Franco. The bribe did not exchange hands as Teder and Kracht were detained first, the Office of the Prosecutor General said.

Teder and Kracht are also suspected of agreeing to launder money to hide the bribe.

Another two entrepreneurs stand suspected of related offenses.

Harju County Court issued an arrest warrant for Teder and Kracht for a period of two months on January 14.

Kracht was released on February 16, while Teder is still in custody at this time.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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