In a letter to the European Parliament, MP Mart Helme (EKRE) urged the legislative body to take three problematic circumstances into account before confirming ex-finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) as Estonia's new member of the European Court of Auditors (ECA).
"Without wanting to interfere in the decision of the European Parliament, I consider it important that you be as well informed as possible when making your choice," the letter reads.
In his letter, Helme called attention to the fact that at the time the Estonian government confirmed Pentus-Rosimannus' candidacy, she was a member of the government serving as minister of finance.
"According to Estonian law, it is forbidden for individuals to participate in decision-making processes that could benefit them personally," he wrote. "It's clear that Keit Pentus-Rosimannus has violated this ban. She violated the procedural restriction ban knowingly, deliberately and systematically."
Helme also highlighted that ECA members are expected to have impeccable reputations, and Pentus-Rosimannus does not meet this requirement.
"She, her husband and her father are tied to a court saga to gain significant prominence on the public radar in which she and her loved ones were accused of bankrupting a company, illegally withdrawing money from the bankruptcy estate and deliberately harming creditors," the EKRE MP wrote. "The trial went on for years, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus was found partially guilty at the lower and district court levels, but a higher court sent the case back to be heard again in a lower court, and several pieces of evidence had been destroyed by then."
He highlighted in his letter that the disappearance and destruction of this evidence occurred in public offices while her political party, the Reform Party, was in power in Estonia.
"Nevertheless, incredibly disgraceful facts were revealed in the course of the court saga," he continued. "Among other things, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus was tied to the embezzlement of €200,000 in cash from the accounts of the bankrupted firm as well as to the retroactive drafting of fictitious loan contracts in order to cover up the withdrawal of this cash. It's clear that despite the eventual acquittal following the lengthy trial, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus does not have an impeccable reputation."
The third aspect highlighted in the letter was the fact that ECA members are expected to have experience working as an auditor.
"Keit Pentus-Rosimannus has never, not in any way, shape or form, worked as an auditor or in a position involving auditing," Helme highlighted.
Prosecutors decline to launch investigation
Following an analysis of the criminal offense report filed against ex-finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, the Office of the Prosecutor General concluded that there were no grounds for launching a criminal investigation, it was announced Friday.
Drawn up together with Tallinn law firm Lextal, the 21-page criminal offense report detailing the suspected violation of procedural restrictions in Pentus-Rosimannus' nomination as Estonia's candidate for the ECA had been filed by Riigikogu Anti-Corruption Select Committee chair and Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) deputy chairman Mart Helme on October 18.
Isamaa MP Priit Sibul, a fellow member of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee, had said last Thursday that if the Prosecutor's Office chose to launch a criminal investigation into the matter, the committee would send a letter to the European Parliament detailing the process of Pentus-Rosimannus' nomination as Estonia's candidate for the ECA.
The oral hearing of Keit Pentus-Rosimannus' candidacy as Estonia's new representative to the European Court of Auditors (ECA) is scheduled to take place November 8. Juhan Parts' term at the ECA concludes on January 1, 2023.
Editor: Aili Vahtla