A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office was unable to say one way or another whether Finance Minister Keit Pentus-Rosuimannus had infringed legislation in being nominated Estonia's next representative at the European Court of Auditors (ECA), though outlined the definition of infringements in general terms.
Spokesperson for the Prosecutor's Office Kairi Küngas, told ERR that: "The desire of the legislator is that public power be exercised honestly and impartially, meaning the anti-corruption legislation provides for situations that contradict that."
"One of these would be is the violation of the restriction of action, which is a crime under the Penal Code. Violation of the restriction of action mean cases where a public official makes a decision, participates when making a decision or essentially directs the making of a decision that is related to him or her, persons related to him or her, or their interests," Küngas went on, noting that influencing the decision-making process would also potentially fall under the category of violation.
Küngas could not comment on whether the Prosecutor's Office has commenced proceedings in relation to Pentus-Rosimannus, adding that the office never usually discloses such information.
State Prosecutor Andres Parmas could not be reached on Wednesday, ERR reports.
A week ago, the government approved Pentus-Rosimannus candidacy for Estonia's next ECA representative, replacing Juhan Parts, whose term ends at the end of this year. However, two former state prosecutors, Steven Hristo Evestus and Norman Aas, identified potential infringements along the lines of those described by Küngas above.
State Secretary Taimar Peterkop and Auditor General Janar Holm have said that the nomination procedure had been carried out according to the book, adding that any political aspect to the nomination was a separate issue outside of their remit.
Pentus-Rosimannus was away at an EU finance minister's meeting when her candidacy was put forward – the ECA representative must in fact be nominated by the finance minister – and so Rural Affairs Minister Urmas Kruuse (Reform), deputizing for Pentus-Rosimannus in her absence, in and of itself standard practice, nominated her.
Editor: Andrew Whyte