Speaking during Question Time in the Riigikogu on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said that Marti Kuusik (EKRE), who held the position of Minister of Foreign Trade and IT for just a day and a half at the end of April, has no right to compensation.
"It is true that there is no right to compensation — this is based on the Government of the Republic Act, if a minister resigns of their own volition," Ratas said.
According to the prime minister, he was present at a consultation where Kuusik said he had decided to resign, and nobody promised him any sort of compensation at that meeting.
"At the same time, Estonia is a democratic state, and people can submit claims," he continued. "And if these claims go unfulfilled, people have the right to take the matter to court."
He added that he personally wouldn't have demanded compensation from the state after having served one day in office.
Likewise during Wednesday's Question Time, Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) said that politics cannot interfere with Kuusik's criminal case, but noted that he was unable to comment on the details of the charges brought against the ex-minister.
"Politically, it isn't right or nice to intervene in criminal proceedings," Aeg said, adding that law enforcement authorities must continue with their proceedings as well as clarify whether the case can also be taken to court.
Kuusik seeking compensation, is charged
The Office of the Prosecutor General confirmed to ERR's online news portal on Tuesday that Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) politician Marti Kuusik, who served for less than two days as Minister of Foreign Trade and IT in Jüri Ratas' (Centre) second Cabinet, was charged with physical abuse last week.
This news came a day after it was reported that Kuusik has taken the state to court for over €31,000 in compensation.
According to information available to BNS, Kuusik filed a complaint against the state with Tallinn Administrative Court on May 30, and is demanding compensation totaling €31,458, i.e. six months' salary, from the state over his forced resignation.
Kuusik held the ministerial position for a day and a half, handing in his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on April 30 in the wake of allegations of domestic violence that appeared in weekly Eesti Ekspress the morning of the 29th, the day that Ratas' second Cabinet was sworn in. At the time, Kuusik stated that he was resigning as minister for the sake of the government's peaceful work environment, his reputation, as well as his family.
"I submitted my letter of resignation from the office of minister to [EKRE] party chairman Mart Helme and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas," Kuusik said at the time. "Let me again confirm that accusations made against me are slander; I am not someone who engages in violence. I am giving up the office of minister not because the accusations against me are true, but, on the contrary, in order to focus on defending myself in the criminal proceedings and restoring my good name."
Following media coverage of the allegations, police launched a criminal investigation into the matter in order to determine the circumstances thereof.
Kuusik was replaced as Minister of Foreign Trade and IT by fellow EKRE member Kert Kingo.
Editor: Aili Vahtla