Estonian court does not bring Savisaar to justice for time being ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Edgar Savisaar, the Center Party's longtime former chairman.
Edgar Savisaar, the Center Party's longtime former chairman. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Harju County Court on Thursday did not issue a ruling to bring suspended Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar to justice in a corruption case as an expert evaluation of the state of his health must still be obtained.

On April 11, the court issued an order for Edgar Savisaar to undergo a forensic medical committee examination to determine whether Savisaar suffers from an irreparable serious illness and, if so, whether he is able to take part in criminal proceedings and serve the sentence.

According to law, the examination will be carried out by experts from the Estonian Forensic Science Institute (EKEI), which must inform the court as soon as possible of the approximate time of completion of the expert report.

The court however rejected a request by the attorneys for defendants Alexander Kofkin, Aivar Tuulberg and Hillar Teder for the statement of charges to be returned to the prosecutor's office, finding that there were no grounds to return the charges and that the charge sheet was consistent with the requirenemts set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The court also rejected requests from Kofkin's attorney to terminate proceedings concerning his client as and a request from Savisaar's attorney to partially terminate proceedings concerning his client in connection with the expiry of reasonable times of proceeding. The court pointed out that the Code of Criminal Procedure explicitly stipulated that a decision to terminate proceedings in connection with the expiry of reasonable time of proceeding can be made only during the court hearing on the matter.

In addition, the county court did not satisfy a request from the attorney of Aivar Tuulberg to terminate proceedings with regard to his client due to the violatin of the principles of fair and equitable procedure and for a constitutional review procedure to be initiated. The attorney cited the leaks of materials from the criminal investigation to the media as the reason for the request.

The court contended that in the digital age, materials in a court case not leaking to the public can never be guaranteed, especially in large-scale cases entailing a large number of defendants in which, observing the requirements of the law, the materials have been made available to many individuals in the form of digital copy. If a criminal procedure could be closed right away on the grounds that evidence had been leaked to the public, materials would be leaked on a regular basis in order to avoid trial.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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