Criminal proceedings against former Tallinn deputy mayor dropped

Former deputy mayor Arvo Sarapuu.
Former deputy mayor Arvo Sarapuu. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Criminal proceedings against former deputy mayor of Tallinn Arvo Sarapuu have been terminated on the grounds of ill health.

Sarapuu had been charged with alleged violations in procedural restrictions but, whilst sufficient evidence had been gathered to mount a case against him, Public Prosecutor Laura Feldmanis said, his health condition rendered terminating the proceedings justifiable on the grounds of lack of public interest.

"Arvo Sarapuu committed to pay €12,000 into the state coffers and cover the costs of the proceedings,'' Ms Feldmanis told daily Postimees.

''In the same proceeding, two individuals are suspected of aiding a violation of procedural restrictions – the proceeding concerning them will continue and the last procedural acts will be conducted in the near future," she continued.

The €12,000 in question must be paid by 21 May, it is reported.

On 25 May 2017 personnel from the Internal Security Service (ISS) arrested Sarapuu as a suspect in a criminal investigation into alleged irregularities in waste handling procedures in Tallinn city. The Office of the Prosecutor General had been handling a criminal case, part of which saw Sarapuu declared suspect, together with two others, in the knowing violation of a procedural restriction on a particularly large scale, since 1 March that year.

Following his arrest, Sarapuu resigned as deputy mayor of Tallinn.

Sarapuu and his associates from the board of owners at ATKO transport group had reportedly been involved in setting up a business which would then deal with waste handling public procurement, as announced by the Tallinn Environmental Board, to its benefit, it is alleged.

A suspect who oversaw the financial management of this company, Baltic Waste Management OÜ (BWM), and who in turn was reportedly under orders from ATKO Group's supervisory board, was apparently also arrested in connection with the case.

Former Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar also recently saw proceedings against him dismissed on health grounds, by the highest court in the land (ie. the Supreme Court).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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