Administrative court rejects Centre Party, Pettai appeals

Paavo Pettai in court.
Paavo Pettai in court. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Tallinn Administrative Court on Friday left unchanged an injunction filed by the Estonian Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK) last summer ordering the Centre Party to pay into the state budget €220,000 it had received as a prohibited donation from advertising businessman Paavo Pettai's company.

The court rejected the Centre Party's appeal to reverse the ERJK's 14 July, 2017 injunction or reverse the part obliging the party to pay the donation into the state budget.

In his own appeal, Pettai likewise sought the reverse of the injunction in the part obliging the donation be paid into the state budget and for the ERJK to be required to file a new injunction ordering the Centre Party to return the money to Pettai.

The parties have until 9 July inclusive to appeal the administrative court's ruling in Tallinn Circuit Court.

The ERJK filed an injunction on 14 July last year ordering the Centre Party to pay €220,000 received in illegal donations into the state budget within 30 days of receipt of the injunction, and to thereafter submit the relevant payment order to the ERJK.

The court found the ERJK injunction in question to be lawful and that there were no grounds for reversing it. It also agreed with the financing watchdog that this transaction qualified as a prohibited donation.

The Tallinn court explained that the Political Parties Act forbids parties from accepting donations from legal entities and requires such donations to be returned to the donor or, should this not be possible, paid into the state budget.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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