Prosecutor's office appeals release of Kohtla-Järve corruption suspect

Nikolai Ossipenko.
Nikolai Ossipenko. Source: SCANPIX/Ilmar Saabas/Ekspress Meedia

The prosecutor's Office has appealed a court decision which rejected their request to place a Kohtla-Järve businessman under formal arrest.

Nikolai Ossipenko (pictured) was detained early last week along with eight other people from the world of local politics and business in the Ida-Viru county town and its environs, and, which the Prosecutor's Office applied for Ossipenko's arrest, which would have meant incarceration for up to two months, the first-tier Viru County Court rejected that request on health grounds.

The request itself was standard procedure; now the Prosecutor's Office is appealing to the more senior Tartu Circuit Court, which will hear the appeal on the morning of Tuesday, October 25.

The suspect, ie. Osspienko, has been informed of this hearing, to which prosecutor Alan Rüütel and counsel for Ossipenko Jüri Leppik have been invited.

While the county court rejected the request, citing Ossipenko's health as a concern, it simultaneously stated that the suspect was in essence not sick enough to not continue with his corruption activities, which in the current case relate mainly to alleged bribery and influence peddling in relation to the awarding of local government contracts to private sector firms, while on the outside.

Along with Ossipenko, 10 other were taken into custody on October 4, including Kohtla-Järve council chair Tiit Lileemets, deputy chair Maria Merkulova, deputy mayors Evelyn Danilov and Vitali Borodin, and business associated of Ossipenko.

All these suspects were also released from detention.

Lillemets has convened a city council meeting for Monday where a motion of no-confidence in the city's leaders, both city government and at the council chambers, is likely to be tabled.

Most of the private sector firms involved are Ossipenko-owned and the alleged corruption has been ongoing in other areas close to Kohtla-Järve, such as Jõhvi.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: