Prosecution appealed against Romeo Kalda's early release

Romeo Kalda.
Romeo Kalda. Source: SCANPIX/POSTIMEES/MIHKEL MARIPUU

The Prosecutor's Office has appealed against the ruling of the Viru District Court, which ordered the early release of Romeo Kalda, a lifelong prisoner.

The prosecutor's office based its decision on the fact that Romeo Kalda was found guilty by the Harju District Court in the past (May 24, 2010).

Kalda was found guilty of two counts of incitement to murder committed in a torturous manner at least twice, and of continuous and severe physical assault committed by a group. Since Kalda was already serving a life term, the starting date of the sentence was 27 April 1996.

According to the prosecutor's office, it cannot be ignored that Kalda was convicted on May 24, 2010, which means he has not yet fulfilled the 25-year term of his sentence required for early release. The statute stipulates that the right to request early release will become effective in 2035.

The prosecutor's office had no facts on which to base an opinion about the existence of substantive needs for Kalda's early release and relied solely on the prison's assessment that the detainee posed a significant threat to prison staff, prisoners and the general public, and opposed early release.

The court, however, did not consider the prison's risk assessment.

The prosecutor's office further argued that Romeo Kalda should undergo a rigorous forensic psychiatric-psychological evaluation in order to obtain an objective assessment of his risk of recidivism.

The Jõhvi courthouse of the Viru District Court decided to release 48-year-old Romeo Kalda from the sentence imposed on him by the decision of the Harju District Court of May 24, 2010.

The judge sentenced Kalda to ten years of probation and seven years of behavioral supervision, with the application of conditional electronic monitoring for a period of twelve months.

In 1996, Kalda was sentenced to death for murdering a police officer, but the Tallinn District Court replaced it with life imprisonment after an amendment to the Criminal Code went into effect in February 1997.

On April 27, 1996, Kalda fatally injured Lasnamäe police officer Mart Laan, who was pursuing him following an apartment robbery.

Most recently, Kalda stood trial in the so-called Murru jail case, when he was convicted of inciting to murder and torture and sentenced to eight years in prison, to be spent in perpetuity.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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