The Harju County Court on Tuesday decided to terminate the criminal case of former diplomat Clyde Kull for lack of purposefulness. Kull is ordered to pay €25,000 into public revenues.
Kull, charged with embezzlement and fraud, admitted to misusing representation costs, expressed remorse and willingness to compensate the state for damages and issued a public apology for misuse of public funds. After analyzing Kull's statements, the court decided it is possible to grant the prosecution's request to terminate proceedings without ordering a punishment.
Kull is obligated to compensate Estonia for damages of €7,541.57 and pay €25,000 into public revenues. Kull must also pay his legal expenses. Failure to perform said obligations would see the court reinstate criminal proceedings.
Kull was charged with two episodes of misuse of financial resources between February 2016 and January 2021 where he registered personal expenses as eligible representation expenses, which are subject for compensation. Total damage caused amounted to €7,541.57.
The Prosecutor's Office said it sought to terminate proceedings because Kull has admitted to wrongdoing, apologized and is willing to compensate the state, as well as lack of public interest to prosecute as Clyde Kull has no prior offenses.
Kull said in a statement sent to the media that he decided not to seek his acquittal and agreed to termination of the criminal case in agreement process to stop the trial, which has already harmed both sides, stretching into years.
"The decision to agree to the termination of proceedings in agreement process and not to defend myself all the way in court was not made lightly. I weighed the interests of myself, my family and the Republic of Estonia at length. Even though achieving acquittal was very important for me personally, I could not ignore the negative effects years of proceedings would have had for myself and Estonian foreign relations and diplomacy the development of which I have contributed throughout my career, since 1991. To prove my innocence, I would have had to summon as witnesses nearly 50 foreign diplomats and officials from all over the world. This would have meant months if not years of complicated trial, not to mention damage to the reputation of Estonia and its foreign service," the former diplomat wrote.
Kull thanked his Estonian and foreign colleagues for their support and said he hopes the Tuesday decision will restore legal peace and allow him to move on with his life.
Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski