The Supreme Court of Estonia on Tuesday rejected the appeals of the Centre Party and advertising businessman Paavo Pettai with which they sought to annul an injunction by the Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK).
Last July, the ERJK ordered the Centre Party to pay €220,000 it had received as an illegal donation into the state budget within 30 days.
The party finance watchdog was of the position that of the €250,000 transferred to the political party's bank account by a company belonging to Pettai, €220,000 was not the purchase price of a legal share of a property, but rather a donation to the party.
The administrative court to first handle the case verified that the donation was made by a legal entity, as a result of which, according to the Political Parties Act, the Centre Party was forbidden from accepting the donation and was in fact obligated to either return the donation to the donor or, if this was not possible, pay the sum into the state budget.
The circuit court agreed with the lower court's reasoning.
As the Supreme Court has rejected the appeals, the lower courts' rulings will remain in force, and the Centre Party must pay €220,000 into the state budget.
Editor: Aili Vahtla