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Court rejects Center Party's appeal in cash dispute

Priit Toobal served as secretary general of the Center Party from 2007-2015.
Priit Toobal served as secretary general of the Center Party from 2007-2015. Source: (Hanna Samoson/ERR)

Tallinn Administrative Court on Thursday rejected the Center Party's appeal against a decision made by the Estonian Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK) according to which the committee considered the party's large sum of cash in hand to be an unlawful donation and obliged the party to pay it into the state budget.

At the end of December, the administrative court discussed the Center Party's appeal, according to which the party sought for the financing watchdog committee's order to be ruled void. The court decided to reject the appeal, leaving procedural expenses to be paid by both parties to the case.

The decision can be appealed in 30 days in Tallinn District Court.

The ERJK on Feb. 14 issued an injunction to the Center Party, ordering it to pay €110,100 received in illegal donations into the state budget and thereafter submit to the committee proof of having fulfilled the order.

The Center Party has claimed that the committee has unduly and unfoundedly taken the position that the party has received illegal donations in the amount of €110,100.

Together with its appeal, the Center Party had filed with the court an application for interim protection, which the court granted, suspending the fulfillment of the injunction until the court's decision enters into force.

In its 2014 annual report, the Center Party declared that at the end of the year, it had €174,427 of cash in hand. According to the ERJK, at the end of 2013 the party had €59,340 of cash in hand, which meant that the party had accumulated at least €115,087 in cash during the year.

A party that receives a forbidden donation must return it to the donor. If the donor cannot be determined, the party must pay the money into the state budget.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS, ERR

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