Prosecutor General Andres Parmas is applying to become Tallinn Circuit Court chair as his next post, daily Eesti Päevalehet (EPL) reports.
EPL noted that Parmas' five-year term as prosecutor general still has a year to run, given he was appointed on February 3, 2020, and that this is the second known job application he has filed while still in that role, following last year's bid to become an International Criminal Court (ICC) judge.
Parmas told EPL that: "Yes, this is the case. /---/ The prosecutor's office has become my own, making it hard to leave. At the same time, my time at the prosecutor's office will be coming to an end one way or another, due to the position's expiry date, so this prompts me to think about the future, even if involuntarily."
Parmas is in the running for chair of the second-tier Tallinn Circuit Court alongside two other lawyers, to replace Villem Lapimaa, whose term ends in May.
Parmas also noted to EPL previous statements he has made to the effect that he wanted to continue as a judge after his term as chief prosecutor ended.
Nonetheless, EPL noted that talk on the sidelines has long had it that Parmas has been subject to political pressure to leave his current post, over dissatisfaction with the functioning of the prosecutor's office.
Neither Parmas nor Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform) was prepared to comment on this to EPL, though the latter confirmed that Parmas is applying for the circuit court chair position, and that he is "certainly a strong lawyer."
Parmas also said that he had applied for the ICC post given his long-held interest in international law, and given that the opportunity was there to apply.
Parmas' bid to sit on the bench of the ICC, an in-focus body in the wake of Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine – the ICC can prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – fell at the last fence, in December last year.
The prosecutor general cast doubt on the process in which successful candidates were picked, saying that this was via back room deals which did not necessarily place the individual's suitability for the role at the top of the list.
The sheer number of applicants from European nations also hampered his application, Parmas said at the time.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots