Former judge files criminal report on former Savisaar prosecutor

Steven-Hristo Evestus, the former prosecutor in the Edgar Savisaar corruption case.
Steven-Hristo Evestus, the former prosecutor in the Edgar Savisaar corruption case. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Former judge Leo Kunman filed a criminal offense report on Friday, against former chief state prosecutor Steven-Hristo Evestus and former prosecutor at the North District Prosecutor's Office, Triinu Olev, Baltic News Service reports. The claims revolved around alleged irregularities in the long-running corruption case concerning former Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar.

A court sitting on Friday connected with the case, which has run since 2017 and been fragmented into different sections in dealing with all of Savisaar's co-accused, including the Centre Party itself – a party which Savisaar co-founded and is now in office at both Tallinn and national level, saw Kunman announce his doubts about Evestus.

Kunman, whose brother Vello is one of the co-accused in the trial, said in court Friday that there was grounds to suspect that Evestus, when he was a prosecutor, forced another of the co-accused, former Tallinn City Government official Priit Kutser, into giving a testimony. Kunman simultaneously filed the criminal offense report.

According to allegations, Kutser recorded his hearings secretly, and these materials reveal Evestus offering to terminate the Kutser case on the grounds of expediency, should he give statements indicting Savisaar as guilty, according to BNS, quoting daily Postimees.

A transcript of the alleged recordings is reportedly circulating, and fell into Kunman's hands, BNS reports. Kunman submitted the transcript to the judge in the case, Anne Rebane, as well.

Postimees also got hold of the transcript of the alleged recordings, saying that these consisted of four meetings between Kutser, Evestus, Olev and lawyer Raiko Paas.

The Office of the Prosecutor General confirmed Friday that they have received the complaint against Evestus and Olev, which will be settled pursuant to the procedure prescribed by law.

Evestus announced his decision to lay down his duties as state prosecutor while the Savisaar case was mid-trial.

Most of the co-defendants have been dealt with by the law, with outcomes ranging from terminating the case on expediency grounds, to plea bargains, to fines. The Centre Party received a fine of over a quarter of a million euros, but this was suspended pending no further wrongdoing in a case concerning bribery, nepotism, illicit donations and other alleged misdeeds.

Savisaar himself saw his trial terminated for good by the Supreme Court, on the grounds of health issues.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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