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Anti-corruption committee elects Herkel chairman

The Anti-Corruption Select Committee elected Andres Herkel (right) committee chairman on Monday. June 12, 2017.
The Anti-Corruption Select Committee elected Andres Herkel (right) committee chairman on Monday. June 12, 2017. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

The Anti-Corruption Select Committee of the Riigikogu elected Free Party parliamentary group chairman Andres Herkel chairman of the committee and reelected Anneli Ott (Center) committee vice-chairwoman.

Special elections were held in connection with the Free Party parliamentary group's proposal to replace Artur Talvik with Andres Herkel in the committee, Riigikogu spokespeople announced.

Herkel has previously told ERR that Talvik has succeeded as chairman of the Anti-Corruption Special Committee in making corruption as a topic more visible and the committee as a whole more active.

"This activity must surely continue even if the committee's influence is limited," he said. "The committee's role is broader than just to be the holder and controller of declarations of economic interests."

The anti-corruption committee consists of six members, which also currently include Mart Helme (EKRE), Ants Laaneots (Reform), Jaanus Marrandi (SDE) and Kalle Muuli.

The Anti-Corruption Select Committee of the Riigikogu monitors that the anti-corruption measures provided for in Estonian Acts are actually implemented, according to its description on the Riigikogu homepage. The Select Committee discusses and assesses the potential incidents of corruption involving officials specified in the Act, exercises supervision over compliance with the restrictions on activities of the members of the Riigikogu and verifies the declarations of interests. The Select Committee submits an overview of its activities to the Riigikogu once a year.

Palling to appear before committee on Wednesday

MP Kalle Palling (Reform) has been summoned to appear before the committee in relation to a case of potential conflict of interest, Herkel confirmed to ERR. Palling likewise confirmed that he would be providing explanations regarding the matter to the committee.

Business daily Äripäev reported last Friday that while serving on the supervisory board of Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia, Palling had brokered an enticing waste-rock deal worth approximately €13 million for VKG, Eesti Energia's largest competitor, despite the latter's own interest in the deal.

Herkel said on Friday that the Palling case didn't sound good and that he considered it necessary to investigate the matter in the anti-corruption committee.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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