Court overrules dismissal of former PPA head Elmar Vaher

Elmar Vaher. March 22, 2023.
Elmar Vaher. March 22, 2023. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The disciplinary proceedings and dismissal of former Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) head Elmar Vaher have been overturned in administrative court and the government ordered to pay him missed salary.

The court on June 22 overruled a government order from March 22 that saw disciplinary proceedings brought against Vaher who was removed as head of the PPA.

The court found that because disciplinary proceedings must be brought inside two years of potential professional misconduct, it is necessary to have information based on which such violations could at least be considered likely.

According to the court, the government's order did not point to any such conduct by the appellant.

While suspicions of aiding and abetting fraud outline several actions by the appellant, all had taken place more than two years before disciplinary proceedings were launched.

The mere fact of criminal suspicions having been initiated against Vaher did not constitute legitimate grounds for disciplinary proceedings and his removal from office.

The court also ordered the government to calculate Vaher's missed salary and reimburse him for missed income during the period of removal.

The disciplinary proceedings were automatically terminated when Vaher's term in office expired and he was released from police service in May 2.

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets initiated disciplinary proceedings at the PPA and the Internal Security Service (ISS) in March. Before that, ISS operatives had detained Eerik Heldna, head of the Tax and Customs Board's customs department, on suspicions of fraud and Elmar Vaher of being an accessory to fraud. According to suspicions, Heldna was fictitiously enrolled as an employee at the PPA so he would qualify for a police officer's special pension with help from Vaher. The criminal investigation is ongoing.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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