Suspect in graft case to enjoy parliamentary immunity if elected

Kalev Kallo.
Kalev Kallo. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Kalev Kallo, a candidate for parliament of the Centre Party and number 13 on the party's overall list, could if elected become immune to further judicial procedures. There is a good chance that this will happen, as Mr Kallo ranks highly enough on Centre's list to make his election almost certain.

ERR's Estonian-language news reported on Thursday that Kallo is Centre's number six in the Haabersti, Põhja-Tallinn and Kristiine electoral district, making it more than likely that he will make the cut this year as well. Mr Kallo was previously elected to the Riigikogu in 2015.

Outside parliament, he is faced with a still pending court case related to his alleged aiding in the giving and accepting of a bribe. Should he be elected, he would enjoy parliamentary immunity that the Office of the Prosecutor General could either try to have removed, or then Mr Kallo could be prosecuted at a later point in time, after his term in parliament ends.

"If [Mr Kallo] should be elected to the Riigikogu, the prosecutor has the option to file for his parliamentary immunity to be revoked," Olja Kivistik, spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor General, said. Should this happen, proceedings against Mr Kallo would go ahead as usual.

"If his immunity isn't revoked, the case is suspended, and will likely be picked up again only after his term in office expires," Ms Kivistik added.

Mr Kallo, in turn, said that he has submitted to all of Estonia's laws and authorities. "I trust the voters and will yield to the court's decision once it is made," he said.

Parliamentary immunity in Estonia is in effect as soon as the individual in question is confirmed elected, which in practice means that Mr Kallo will most likely be out of reach of the authorities for the time being once the results of the general election on 3 March are made official the day after.

Mr Kallo is an incumbent member of the Bank of Estonia's supervisory board.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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