Supreme Court: Savisaar legal fees not to be compensated by state

Edgar Savisaar in the courtroom at Harju County Court.
Edgar Savisaar in the courtroom at Harju County Court. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Supreme Court of Estonia rejected a claim filed by Oliver Nääs and Marko Kairjak, the defense lawyers of former longtime Centre Party chairman and Tallinn ex-mayor Edgar Savisaar freed from trial on corruption charges due to his poor health, in which they sought for their client to be compensated for the procedural expenses incurred in connection with the case.

This means that the state is not obligated to compensate Savisaar for expenses connected with his hiring of defense lawyers and representatives, Supreme Court spokesperson Susann Kivi told BNS on Thursday.

On Dec. 21, 2018, the Supreme Court released Savisaar from trial on corruption charges due to the poor condition of the latter's health.

Following the termination of Savisaar's criminal proceedings, his defense attorneys filed a claim with Harju County Court of Jan. 15 seeking for Savisaar to be compensated for €228,995.74 in procedural expenses.

The first-tier court decided not to review the application, clarifying based on Supreme Court precedent that claims for the compensation of procedural expenses must be submitted before the court leaves to make its decision in the consultation room.

On the basis of the same argument, Harju County Court likewise decided not to review a claim for €21,789.74 in compensation filed by the City of Tallinn, the defendant's contractual representative, on Dec. 31, 2018.

Tallinn Circuit Court upheld the first-tier court's decision that the applications were not submitted in a timely manner.

In its Thursday ruling, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court decided to dismiss the complaints, meaning that the costs connected to the defendant's representation and hiring of defense attorneys will not be compensated.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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