Over a week after an incident at the Tartu courthouse in which symbols redolent of Russia's invasion of Ukraine were scrawled on internal walls, two court employees involved remain on payroll, while the matter is being processed, regional daily Tartu Postimees reports.
A party of three went to the courthouse on Kalevi 1 on the night of the Tartu Capital of Culture 2024 opening celebrations, Friday, January 26, and scrawled symbols evoking Russian triumphalism in Ukraine, namely the "Z" character, in the courthouse restrooms.
The three culprits were current and former employees of the Tartu courthouse, though as noted the two who are still on payroll continue to be employees and to receive a paycheck.
The court has made a statement to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) who have initiated misdemeanor proceedings – which among other things will ascertain whether the courthouse as the scene of the incident is an aggravating circumstance – while the court also says it has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the court employees, who are currently working from home.
At the same time, as the incident took place in an area with limited access, ie. the courthouse, the "Z" symbol, which a court spokesperson said had not been scrawled by either of the two current employees, and was also not on public display as such – in that case a fine or arrest could have ensued.
The building hosts the first tier Tartu County Court and administrative court, and the second-tier Tartu Circuit Court.
Editor: Andrew Whyte