MPs: Child pornography paragraph to be made more specific

Writer Kaur Kender on ETV's "Suud Puhtaks" debate program, Apr. 5, 2017. Source: (ERR)

Center Party MP Oudekki Loone said on ETV’s “Suud Puhtaks” debate program on Wednesday that her party would introduce a bill to help avoid cases like that of writer Kaur Kender, who is facing child pornography charges for the publication of a controversial short story.

Kender’s short story “Untitled 12” features graphic descriptions of sexual violence against children. The state prosecutor in the case is seeking a pecuniary punishment in the amount of €3,939. The writer’s defense meanwhile is demanding that Kender be acquitted, granted compensatory damages, and that his legal expenses in the amount of €55,000 are covered by the state.

Loone’s view of the issue follows the line of argument the prosecutor, who argued that paragraph 178 of the Penal Code, based on which Kender was charged, did not specify that real-life victims had to be involved, and pointed out that people had been found guilty for the same crime as recently as April 6, 2016.

According to Loone, the paragraph in question isn’t clear, as it doesn’t explicitly require real children to be involved. The law should be based on protecting actual children, Loone argued. “There are no actual children in the written text. There are only fictional characters. Not one child that exists in reality is put in danger by this written text,” Loone pointed out, adding that the law wasn’t there to protect fictional people.

Kross: Penal Code not supposed to defend anyone's morals

Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) MP Eerik-Niiles Kross, who also participated in the debate, said that looking at the current law and the course of action of the prosecutor in the Kender case, they did have an excuse for what they decided to do. Kross agreed though that the law should protect real people, though he saw another issue with paragraph 178.

“This paragraph also tries to defend morals. This is clearly legislative junk. The Penal Code can’t be allowed to defend morals,” Kross pointed out.

Prosecutor Taavi Pern said that though the legislator’s aim had been to protect real children, another aim had also been not to distribute material that may stir up passions in pedophiles. The prosecutor’s office faced this issue all the time: this year alone, they were dealing with 32 suspected pedophiles.

Loone confirmed that her party would submit a bill next Monday to change the Penal Code and make the paragraph in question more specific. Kender’s case will be decided in May.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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