Two prosecutors dismissed over alleged corruption in criminal proceedings

Aro Siinmaa.
Aro Siinmaa. Source:

Prosecutor General Andres Parmas has dismissed the Southern District Prosecutor's Office prosecutors Aro Siinmaa (pictured) and Kaire Hänilene, due to a loss of confidence in the two officials over alleged interference in proceedings and attempts to conceal evidence. Siimaa and Hänilene had been working at the prosecutor's office for nearly 30 years.

The loss of trust in the pair arises from their blocking of the investigation of the circumstances in one misdemeanor proceeding, which they allegedly did by deleting e-mails from their mailboxes, emails which they would have known to have carried a significant weight from an evidential point of view, the prosecutor's office says.

It also emerged that Siinmaa and Hänilene had intervened in a criminal proceeding being led by another prosecutor, by allegedly advising a suspect personally known to them on how to form an effective defense, during the course of the proceedings. 

Andres Parmas said that in the light of such behavior, Siinmaa and Hänilene's continuation as prosecutors is out of the question.

"Both Siinmaa and Hänilene were meritorious prosecutors who had been working for the institution for a long time, and during that time had participated in solving many difficult and complex crimes," Parmas said.

"However, the fight against crime is not viable if a society cannot trust the prosecution and the prosecutors, and after such activities came to light, for me the only conceivable decision was to terminate the employment relationship with both of them," he continued. 

Siinmaa and Hänilene's last working day at the prosecutor's office was thus yesterday, Tuesday, and other prosecutors will take over the criminal proceedings they had been in charge of.

Both prosecutors had been in the job since 1993.

The prosecutor's office, in conjunction with the Internal Security Service (ISS), closed criminal proceedings against Siinmaa earlier in the summer, due to a lack of evidence.

Siinmaa had been suspected of giving two separate false statements in connection with proceedings.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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