Former ISS director, prosecutor general, interior minister Jüri Pihl dies

Jüri Pihl.
Jüri Pihl. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Jüri Pihl, former director of the Internal Security Service (ISS), prosecutor general and minister of the interior, is dead. According to ERR's Estonian-language news, Mr Pihl died on Sunday as a result of an injury he had suffered earlier.

Jüri Pihl was born on 17 March 1954 in Kuressaare, Saare County. From 1975 to 1986, Mr Pihl was an inspector with the ministry of the interior of the Estonian SSR. Until 1990 he was in charge of various departments of the criminal police in both Võru and Tallinn, where in 1990 he became head of Tallinn's criminal surveillance division.

Later in the same year, Mr Pihl was put in charge of the internal security division of what was then the Estonian Police Board, and after the Internal Security Service was established became its first director, a position he held for 10 years.

In 2003, Mr Pihl was appointed Estonia's prosecutor general, and in 2005 became the secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice. In 2007, he then became minister of the interior for the Social Democratic Party (SDE) in the second cabinet of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip (Reform), a position he held until 2009.

Mr Pihl was chairman of SDE from 2009 to 2010 and a deputy mayor of Tallinn during that same period, after which he left politics.

"Jüri Pihl is among those who laid the groundwork for Estonia's safety and security," Minister of the Interior Katri Raik (SDE) said in an obituary published on Sunday. "He demanded absolute dedication of everyone he worked with, also of himself," Ms Raik added.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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