First hearing into minister domestic violence allegations set for October
The preliminary hearing into alleged domestic violence involving Marti Kuusik (EKRE) has been set for Oct. 10, Baltic News Service reports.
The preliminary hearing will take place at Viru County Court's Rakvere courthouse, with Judge Heli Väinaste resolving requests and setting dates for further court hearings on allegations surrounding the 49-year-old former minister.
"Considering the interests of the parties to the proceeding and the interests of a fair trial, it is not possible for the prosecutor's office to provide information about the precise content of the charges at this point. The prosecutor's office will present its evidence in court," spokesperson for the Viru District Prosecutor's Office Jelena Filippova said, according to BNS.
A criminal procedure was launched against Kuusik under the physical abuse section of the Penal Code on April 29, to investigate allegations of domestic violence which had been circulating in the media.
Kuusik was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and IT following the coalition of Centre, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa entering into office at the end of April.
However, media reports of the allegations appeared almost immediately. At the coalition's swearing-in ceremony at the Riigikogu, President Kersti Kaljulaid vacated her podium seat when it was Kuusik's turn to step up.
Kuusik resigned less than two days after the reports, which he said were slanderous, appeared. He was replaced in the ministerial post by Kert Kingo, also of EKRE.
Kuusik's wife also denied the allegations.
Kuusik sought compensation of €31,000 after stepping down, but this was rebuffed by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
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Editor: Andrew Whyte