President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt was on Tuesday submitted an appeal signed by the speakers of the parliaments of the Nordic and Baltic countries requesting an external inquiry into allegations of corruption against PACE members.
In response to the request, it was decided in Strasbourg to form a three-member independent external investigation body to launch an inquiry, according to a Riigikogu press release.
President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said that it was the wish of seven countries that an impartial inquiry be conducted to identify the possible circumstances of corruption. "All of our attempts thus far have been fruitless, but an investigation has now begun and hopefully everything will be clear soon," said Nestor.
The appeal was signed by seven NB8 countries, or the speakers of the parliaments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
In the opinion of Marianne Mikko, head of the Estonian delegation to PACE, at least one of the members of the investigating body should be a respected politician acknowledged in Europe.
Mikko noted that that the investigation was launched immediately after the seven NB8 speakers' letter had been forwarded to the president of PACE. "I am very happy PACE managed to be decisive in this issue and signal that corruption is not tolerated," she said, adding that corruption had no place in a human rights organization.
A trial is currently underway in Milan involving former PACE member Luca Volonté, who is accused of receiving money from Azerbaijan and in return influencing PACE policy in a direction suitable for that country.
Editor: Aili Vahtla