Tallinn Circuit Court on Friday reviewed an appeal by the Centre Party against a lower court's ruling ordering the party to pay the City of Tallinn €6,000 for the publication of articles promoting the party in the city-financed paper Stolitsa. The second-tier court will rule on the case on 28 March.
Attorney Kristel Viru, representing the Centre Party, sought on 30 November 2018 that the second tier court annul the ruling obliging Centre to make the payment and rule to annul a 14 June 2018 order by the Estonian Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK) to repay a forbidden donation.
Alternatively, the attorney sought to have the matter be deliberated again by the administrative court, with all procedural costs to be borne by the ERJK.
At the end of November, the administrative court lifted an injunction issued in the same case that summer and dismissed the party's complaint in the principal dispute.
On 4 June 2018, the ERJK ordered the Centre Party to return a forbidden donation in the amount of €6,071.04 to the City of Tallinn.
According to the watchdog committee, the payment by the city of the costs of the publication of ads promoting the Centre Party constituted a forbidden donation.
Tallinn Administrative Court ruled that the ERJK's order was legitimate and there were no grounds for its annulment.
The court noted that the articles published at the city's expense without a doubt gave the Centre Party an advantage over other parties, as Centre thus had to spend less money to advertise itself ahead of the elections.
Editor: Aili Vahtla