Criminal proceedings against EKRE MP wound-up due to lack of evidence

EKRE MP Anti Poolamets.
EKRE MP Anti Poolamets. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Criminal proceedings against a Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP have been closed after the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the prosecutor's office found no substance in the charges. The MP, Anti Poolamets, says the accusation was false, likely done as an election stunt.

Regional daily Virumaa Teataja reported that on September 3, the paper writes, Poolamets had pushed Rakvere Deputy Mayor Andres Jaadla (Center).

Jaadla said he had been attempting to enter a public meeting.

The Viru District Prosecutor's Office had already declined to initiate criminal proceedings last week, Virumaa Teataja reported (link in Estonian), while the official Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) order terminating the proceedings was issued on Friday, ERR reports.

Poolamets, who is head of EKRE's Lääne-Viru branch, said that the incident had been a publicity stunt ahead of the local elections and represented a false claim on the part of Jaadla.

Poolamets said: "False complaints can be made against any candidate, in order to influence the election results. Observance of the rules guarantee the legitimacy and integrity of the elections."

The prosecutor's office has not announced whether Poolamets' counter-claim will be followed up on. A false complaint or statement can be penalized with a fine or up to a year's jail time, ERR reports.

Poolamets said that Allan Jaakus, Rakvere city councilor Allan Jaakus, a witness to the incident, have both given misleading statements – in the latter's case rather more conflicting statements as he went on to tell the PPA he had not seen any physical contact, Poolamets said, adding that he is taking legal advice, including on the handling of the incident by the prosecutor's office, which he said was irregular in relation to how cases relating to state activity should be handled.

"If such acts can be committed with impunity and, given the example of Mary Kross, perpetrators are allowed to escape easily, they will continue to be committed lightly," Poolamets continued.

"Mary Kross' settlement procedure was also in conflict with the public prosecutor' s own instructions, according to which crimes against justice should not have been terminated via settlement procedure," he went on.

The PPA issued an order on October 1 terminating criminal proceedings against Poolamets in relation to an incident in Rakvere on September 3 where the EKRE MP allegedly barred Rakvere Deputy Mayor Andres Jaadla from speaking at a meeting where he, Poolamets, was to present on alleged corruption involving Jaadla.

Four days after the alleged incident, Jaadla filed a criminal report alleging he had been assaulted by Poolamets. The PPA found no evidence to back the claim and terminated the case.

The Mary Kross case Poolamets was referring to involved a film-maker and U.S. national who in November 2018 reported a case of being verbally abused by two men. The pair, who she said were wearing clothes emblazoned with EKRE's logo, also threw stones at her and her dog, while they walked on Stroomirand beach in North Tallinn.

The story itself appeared in the media less than a month before the March 2019 Riigikogu election.

No evidence that the alleged event actually happened ever came to light in the subsequent PPA investigation, while the prosecutor's office terminated the court case on the grounds of lack of public interest, in late October 2019.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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