Tallinn sports centre boss resigns after corrpution probe
Toomas Ristlaan has resigned from his post as director of the Sõle Sports Centre in Tallinn following accusations of taking bribes.
This follows his being detained by the Central Criminal Police on Wednesday, 17 May
According to the Tallinn Sports and Youth Department (Tallinna Spordi- ja Noorsooamet) a body aimed at promoting sports and leisure amongst young people in Tallinn, Mr. Ristlaan's resignation would come into effect today, Friday 18 May.
Mr. Ristlaan was released yesterday, 17 May, since the North District Prosecutor's office had not requested he be taken into custody, though the investigation will be ongoing-
"The manager of Söle sports centre has been accepting bribes from an individual client of the sports center on repeated occasions to facilitate the availability of more amenable time slots, lower fees and a faster processing of paperwork," a spokesperson for the North District Prosecutor's Office said.
The investigation itself was opened over a week ago with the first procedural moves made on Wednesday, ie. the detaining of the suspect and searches of locations connected to his activities.
The investigation is being conducted by the office for the investigation of corruption crimes of the Central Criminal Police and supervised by the North District Prosecutor's Office.
The developments have been followed by comment from representatives of some of the major political parties, not least Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, to whose Centre Party Ristlaan reportedly belongs, and who has stated his opposition to the existence of corruption in Estonian society as reported on ERR.
Sõle Sports Centre as its name suggests is located on Sõle Street, the main arterial route through North Tallinn and linking the districts of Kristiine and Kopli, and provides a wide range of training options and facilities including a large indoor sports hall.
Editor: Andrew Whyte