Corruption suspect attends EKRE Riigikogu meetings

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Former finance ministry adviser Kersti Kracht. Source: ERR

The former advisor to the former Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE), a suspect in corruption, Kersti Kracht, has lately been to meetings held by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Riigikogu group. Head of the party, Martin Helme, and Kersti Kracht herself, refuse to talk discuss the matter, however.

Kracht, who was recently released from prison after serving a little over a month in relation to the corruption scandal which brought down the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition, visited the Riigikogu last month, and on Wednesday this week, when she and her lawyer, Oliver Nääs, were spotted entering EKRE's offices. ERR sent the questions to the party's communications manager, Holger Berg, but is still awaiting a response.

ERR asked Oliver Nääs also, who said: "This is related to legal aid, I can't comment on it," Nääs said.

The text of the short conversations with ERR journalists runs as follows.

ERR's interview with Martin Helme:

ERR: What was Kersti Kracht doing in the Riigikogu on Wednesday?

Martin Helme: I don't know. We have been working from home; I didn't know she went there. But Kracht is a member of the party and a member of the Tallinn city council, so we still communicate.

ERR: What business does she have there?

Helme: You need to ask her, I wasn't there.

ERR's Aleksander Krjukov's Interview with Kersti Kracht:

ERR: Would you be able to say why you went to visit EKRE at the Riigikogu building on Wednesday?

Kracht: Why would you be interested in that?

ERR: Journalistic interest. You went to the Riigikogu, and the party's political group there, these things are important to know.

Kracht: Are you kidding me? What is wrong with you, why would I tell you that?

ERR: You don't want to say?

Kracht: Why would I tell you that? Are you weird or something?

ERR: You had been visiting a political party which is elected by the public. It would be good to have an overview of such meetings.

Kracht: Are you stalking me?

ERR: No, MPs have been saying this.

Kracht: But how is it your business?

ERR: You went to the Riigikogu with the lawyer, Oliver Nääs. Are you trying to conceal any negotiations with EKRE?

Kracht: Why should I hide them?

ERR: Why can't you give any comment then?

Kracht: Listen, knock it off. I won't tell you anything. Goodbye.

Kracht was charged with influence peddling in smoothing the way for preferential treatment in having permission granted for access routes to the Porto Franco complex, a part-finished residential/retail/business/leisure complex close to Tallinn's ferry harbor, as well as for obtaining a loan from state credit agency KredEx. She was detained and released about a month after. Under the terms of her release, Kracht may not be away from home for a period of more than three days, amid fears she may abscond from the country.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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