SDE received donation from former party leader father linked to corruption ({{commentsTotal}})

Oleg Ossinovski.
Oleg Ossinovski. Source: SCANPIX / POSTIMEES

Businessman Oleg Ossinovski was a major donor to the Social Democratic Party (SDE) at a time when his son, Jevgeni Ossinovski, was still party chair. The former SDE leader had previously stated that no party donations would be forthcoming from his father, following the latter's reported links with a corruption case involving Latvian state-owned rail company LDz.

"My father and I are two completely different people, both in our positions and our fields of activity," Jevgeni Ossinovski, who announced he was stepping down as SDE leader after the March 3 general election, said on Thursday, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

The links between the party and Oleg Ossinovski have been interrupted today, "said Yevgeny Ossinovski in an interview with Estonian Television in 2015, when Oleg Ossinovski was associated with the corruption case of the Latvian railway CEO Ugis Magonis.

"He does not do politics, I do not do business," he added.

"Oleg Ossinovski did not make any donations while I was party leader. The party asked him for support for the European elections campaign this spring, since by that time I had announced my decision to stand down," he continued.

Jevgeni Ossinovski became SDE leader in May 2015. Ossinovski senior had previously made several rounds of donations to the party. For instance in 2013 he gave €30,000, it is reported.

In August 2015, LDz then-CEO Ugis Magonis was placed under house arrest on suspicion of accepting a bribe worth half a million euros from Oleg Ossinovski's firm Skinest, linked with the sale of four rail locomotives by that company. Skinest's quid pro quo was reportedly a train repair plant contract, in the Latvian city of Daugavpils.

SDE donations in brief

SDE received a little over €93,000 in donations in Q2 2019, ahead of the European Parliamentary elections, with the largest single contributor being businessman Heiti Hääl (€10,000).

Estonian political parties also receive state funds in proportion to the size of their representation at the Riigikogu. To that end, SDE received a reported €131,510, as well as €5,631 in membership fees in the same time frame.

According to data from the Financing Supervision Commission (ERJK), the party also took out a loan worth €300,000 from LHV Pank in early April this year.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte



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