Justice chancellor agrees Kallo should be stripped of immunity

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise.
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise on Friday signed a decision with which she agreed with an application from the Prosecutor's Office which sought to strip Centre Party MP Kalev Kallo,whose court case in connection with bribery has been pending for years, of his parliamentary immunity.

The justice chancellor forwarded the proposal to strip Kallo of his immunity, which was originally filed by the Prosecutor's Office on April 23, to President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE). The Riigikogu is expected to vote on the matter on May 14.

According to the Estonia Constitution, MPs are immune from prosecution, and criminal charges against them may only be brought on the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice and with the consent of a majority of MPs. Kalev Kallo earned 289 votes in the 2019 Riigikogu elections on March 3.

Should the Riigikogu decide not to strip Kallo of his immunity, the criminal investigation into him will be suspended and it is possible that it will continue after Kallo's powers as MP have expired.

Kallo tied up in Savisaar case

The Prosecutor's Office has accused Kallo of aiding in the giving and accepting of a bribe.

He is one of the accused in the so-called Savisaar case, from which former longtime Centre Party chairman and Tallinn ex-mayor Edgar Savisaar himself was freed by the Supreme Court of Estonia last December due to his poor health.

The Office of the Prosecutor General brought charges against Savisaar for accepting bribes, money laundering, embezzlement on a large scale, and accepting a prohibited donation to the Centre Party. The Centre Party as a legal person remains on trial in the same case.

Prosecutors have also accused businessmen Aivar Tuulberg, Alexander Kofkin, Hillar Teder and Vello Kunman of giving bribes to Savisaar.

The hearing of the so-called Savisaar corruption case began in Harju County Court on June 12, 2107 when the defendants in the case affirmed that they understood the charges against them and pleaded not guilty.

Kallo, a former chairman of Tallinn City Council, is accused of aiding in the giving and accepting of a bribe.

Former Minister of the Environment Villu Reiljan was accused of arranging a bribe for Savisaar. He pleaded guilty, after which the court decided to separate the charges related to him from the bigger case in order to reach a plea deal, as a result of which Reiljan was to pay the state just over €33,000.

Former Tallinn city official Priit Kutser had also been on trial for aiding embezzlement, but proceedings against him were concluded for reasons of expediency.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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