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Expert assessment of Savisaar’s health may take up to eight months

Former longtime Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar.
Former longtime Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The expert assessment of the health and fitness for trial of suspended Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar (Center) might take four to eight months. Savisaar is accused of graft, embezzlement, money laundering, and having accepted illegal political donations.

“This medical history is one of the most voluminous ever submitted to us,” director of the Estonian Forensic Science Institute, Üllar Lanno, told daily Postimees. Lanno pointed out that though the public expectation was for a quick result, such material may well take four to eight months to process.

The aim of the assessment is to determine whether or not Edgar Savisaar is fit to stand trial before the court begins to look into the case in detail. Savisaar is accused of graft in several cases both in an active and passive capacity, of large-scale money laundering, large-scale embezzlement, and accepting illegal political donations on behalf of the Center Party.

An additional aspect in the matter of Savisaar’s health is whether or not he will be a candidate in this year’s local elections. The Lasnamäe section of Tallinn’s Center Party has already accepted him as their leading candidate. If he should manage to get out of the court trial on grounds of health, his running in Tallinn’s most populous district would be put in question as well.

Savisaar’s own assessment published on Monday

Savisaar published an expert assessment on Facebook on Monday in which head of the Tartu University hospital’s cardiology clinic, Jaan Eha, listed a whole number of reasons why Savisaar has to be considered gravely ill.

"Due to his health condition, Edgar Savisaar is not capable of participating in a trial without this entailing the danger of life-threatening complications or sudden death. An expert is definitely not in a position to assess whether termination of legal proceedings is justified legally, but can only list the circumstances related to the health condition and offer an assessment of them,” Eha’s opinion read.

Eha also pointed out that Savisaar has been diagnosed with several illnesses that are not curable. He had also suffered a heart attack, and one of his lower limbs had been amputated. While each of these conditions alone usually posed a major problem to the doctor and the patient alike, Savisaar suffered from at least six of them at once, Eha pointed out.

The Harju County court issued an order on Apr. 11 for Edgar Savisaar to undergo an examination by an expert committee to determine whether or not Savisaar suffered from an incurable serious illness, and if so whether or not he is able to stand trial.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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