Interior ministry: No proceedings launched against Vaher

Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

No proceedings are being launched against Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Director General Elmar Vaher, the Ministry of the Interior announced around midday Friday.

"Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 21," the announcement read. "Until then, no proceedings of any kind will take place regarding the matter of PPA Director General Elmar Vaher."

Helme is officially on vacation through next Wednesday.

The scandal surrounding Vaher broke on Thursday evening, when Helme said in an interview with ERR that he had launched a disciplinary proceeding against Elmar Vaher, adding that the latter's employment relationship would be suspended effective Friday.

"On my orders, a disciplinary proceeding has been launched against Elmar Vaher; his employment relationship has been suspended as of Friday, and we'll see what happens next," the interior minister said. He accused Vaher of loss of trust and lying.

Ratas responded by saying that to his knowledge, no such disciplinary proceeding had been launched, and he was unaware that the employment relationship with Vaher was suspended.

Asked to resign

That day, Vaher met with Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE), who is serving as acting interior minister in his father's absence. At  their meeting, the finance minister proposed that Vaher resign voluntarily.

The PPA chief confirmed at a press conference on Thursday evening that he had no intention of resigning voluntarily.

Martin Helme apologized to the prime minister in a statement made later that evening, admitting that he had made a mistake. 

"I made the mistake of interfering so quickly and forcefully in the affairs of another ministry," he wrote on social media.  "I had a discussion with my party's interior minister, but not with the prime minister. Admittedly, this was not the correct way of doing things; I understand Jüri's resentment and apologize to him."

The PPA informed employees via agency intranet on Wednesday that the agency's budget may be reduced by €6 million next year, as a result of which it would have to cut 150 jobs.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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