SDE electoral candidate acquittal appeal to be heard in November

Kajar Lember.
Kajar Lember. Source: Madis Hindre/ERR

A court will later this year hear an appeal over the acquittal of a Social Democratic Party (SDE) candidate at the March Riigikogu elections.

The second-tier Tartu Circuit Court will hear the Prosecutor's Office appeal after Kajar Lember, running in the Jõgeva and Tartu counties electoral district, was acquitted of corruption charges late last year.

Tartu Circuit Court spokesperson Anett Kreitsman told ERR that: "As of yesterday evening (Thursday - ed.), the court took into acceptance the Prosecutor's Office appeal. Tartu Circuit Court will examine the case at an spoken hearing, scheduled to take place on November 15, 2023."

Lember, a former Tartu deputy mayor, himself said the continuation of court proceedings will not harm his candidacy at the election, and in fact will have a positive effect.

He said: "I am even more convinced that the fact that I made this decision was the right one Someone has to deal with humanizing the Estonian legal system."

Lember is running as top of the electoral list in his district, at the March 5 election.

The Southern District Prosecutor's Office opted to contest the acquittal of Lember by the first-tier Tartu County Court, made on December 14, 2022.

Lember was initially charged with procedural restrictions violations, and of bribery. The charges related to a property in Tartu, and to a free haircut allegedly provided to the defendant.

Lember refutes the charges, and says the case has already cost the state around €1.5 million to pursue.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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