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Sarapuu promises to leave politics

Tallinn ex-deputy mayor Arvo Sarapuu (Center).
Tallinn ex-deputy mayor Arvo Sarapuu (Center). Source: (ERR)

Center Party member Arvo Sarapuu, who resigned as deputy mayor of Tallinn following his arrest in connection with a waste management business probe, announced on Friday that while he did not admit to any guilt, he would leave politics.

"I am not saying that I am guilty of the allegations against me," Sarapuu said in a statement issued by the Tallinn city press service. "I am leaving politics for good, as I want to spare the Center Party, which is already under the barrage of the public. I apologize to everyone, especially to the residents of Nõmme [District]. I assure you that I had the best intentions and I'm sorry that they were not realized as such. Please respect my privacy so that I may move on with my life."

The Estonian Internal Security Service arrested Arvo Sarapuu on Thursday morning in connection with a criminal matter involving the waste disposal business in Tallinn. Sarapuu resigned as deputy mayor of Tallinn later that day.

Sarapuu was arrested on allegations of of knowingly violating procedural restrictions on a particularly large scale in connection to a criminal case that the ISS and Office of the Prosecutor General have been investigating since March 1.

Also arrested in connection to the case were Sarapuu's son-in-law Margo Tomingas, a member of the leadership of the Sarapuu owned ATKO group, and Kaido Laanjärv, chairman of the board at Baltic Waste Management OÜ (BWM).

All three suspects were released on Thursday evening as the Prosecutor's Office did not consider it necessary to request permission from the courts to take the three men into custody.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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