Former Pirita district elder released from custody

Tõnis Liinat.
Tõnis Liinat. Source: Center Party

Tallinn Circuit Court has decided to release from custody former Pirita City District Elder Tõnis Liinat who is suspected of accepting bribes.

"The court of appeal found that while the county court's arrest warrant was legal and justified, the fact Liinat has since been released from office as Tallinn's Pirita city district elder and left the Center Party means the danger of him committing new corruption offenses is no longer valid as grounds for arrest. In a situation where the grounds for arrest have disappeared, the court has not choice but to release Liinat from custody," the circuit court's press representative said.

Operatives of the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) on July 4 detained four persons, including Liinat, on suspicions of corruption offenses after which the Harju County Court immediately decided Liinat would have to remain in custody for two months.

His defenders Paul Keres and Andri Rohtla filed a complaint which was heard by the Tallinn Circuit Court on Wednesday, Delfi news portal reports.

It turned out in court on Wednesday that, according to suspicions, Liinat has had well-known businessmen pay for repairs to his car and accepted a bribe of over €20,000.

The Prosecutor's Office confirmed that businessmen Tiit Kurvits and Erki Piirsalu have been handed suspicions, with the third suspect still unknown.

In suspicions associated with Liinat, Kurvits allegedly paid for €4,000 worth of repairs to Liinat's car and received in return favorable procurement conditions.

Businessman Erki Piirsalu paid Liinat a total of €21,540 in cash, the prosecution said.

Liinat's bank statements also revealed him to be a frequent gambler.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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