Prosecutor's office opens investigation against women's fencing coach

National women's epee fencing team coach Kaido Kaabermaa receiving the award for Coach of the Year.
National women's epee fencing team coach Kaido Kaabermaa receiving the award for Coach of the Year. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Northern District Prosecutor's Office's department for economic crimes launched a criminal case against national women's epee fencing coach Kaido Kaaberma.

Last year, investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress (link in Estonian) unveiled that Kaaberma, who was recently awarded as the Coach of the Year at the Sports Stars of the Year ("Spordiaasta tähed 2021") awards gala, had presented two invoices worth €10,000 for advance to the Estonian Fencing Association. The alleged issuer of the bills, however, did not know anything about them.

The weekly's forwarded materials led the Northern District Prosecutor's Office to initiate proceedings against the fencing coach.

District attorney Anneli Masing confirmed to Ekspress (link in Estonian) on Tuesday that proceedings have been initiated to establish facts under the suspicion of fraud. "During the investigation, we will also check the allegations in the article to determine if a crime has been committed," the attorney added.

The weekly reported that Kaaberma has paid the fencing association back for one of the €10,000 checks, but the prosecutor's office will continue their investigation. "Voluntary compensation for damages caused by a offense cannot be seen as waiving the criminal case, since an incomplete offense could also be waived and compensation for damages is more of a factor in sentencing," Masing said.

The fencing coach told Eesti Ekspress that he has not done anything wrong. "I wanted to buy 100 blades using the city of Tallinn's reward. And I agreed to take out an advance, I received the €10,000," Kaaberma told the weekly.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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