The Viru district prosecutor's office confirmed on Tuesday that they are taking former EKRE trade and IT minister, Marti Kuusik, to court for having physically and psychologically abused his ex wife over the course of several years. Accusations against Kuusik appeared on the day of his appointment as minister, and the criminal investigation was started on the same day. Kuusik resigned after just a day in office.
Kuusik, who is a member of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), was appointed Estonia's minister for foreign trade and IT on April 29 this year. On the same day, weekly Eesti Ekspress ran a story accusing him of having abused his ex wife both physically and psychologically for years, quoting sources close to the Kuusik family.
Authorities started a criminal investigation on the same day.
On the morning of April 30, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) told ERR that he welcomed the launch of a criminal investigation, as they "needed clarity, fast." He admitted that, "just like the police and other state authorities," he likewise did not have any information regarding Kuusik's alleged violence against his wife, due to which he had no grounds for dismissing the minister.
Later that same day, Kuusik announced his resignation as minister, stating that he was resigning in order to ensure peace for the new government and in the interests of clearing his name and protecting his family.
Kuusik was replaced as Minister of Foreign Trade and IT by fellow EKRE member Kert Kingo.
Press spokeswoman for the Viru district prosecutor's office, Jelena Filippova, confirmed to ERR on Tuesday afternoon that the case has been submitted to the courts already on Friday last week.
Senior prosecutor Sirje Merilo told Eesti Ekspress that they have the evidence necessary to take Kuusik to court.
Editor: Dario Cavegn