EKRE MP says party should file civil lawsuit against Mary Kross

Anti Poolamets.
Anti Poolamets. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP and party board member Anti Poolamets says that his party may file a civil suit against filmmaker and activist Mary Kross, on the grounds of defamation.

U.S. citizen Kross was charged with providing the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) with false evidence after stating she had been attacked on Tallinn's Stroomi Beach in November 2018, by two men who she said pelted her and her dog with rocks. The claims first appeared in an opinion piece penned by tech entrepreneur Karoli Hindriks soon after the purported incident, where Kross was initially not named.

Kross, who is married to Reform MP Eerik-Niiles Kross, also said the assailants were wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a logo which, according to a piece in daily Postimees Tuesday, Kross did not at the time identify as being that of EKRE, but which following a sketch was confirmed to her by an acquaintance as being EKRE's. Kross later told the police she was 100 percent sure that the logo was the party's.

The prosecutor's office wound up the case last week on the grounds of lack of public interest, though Kross was obliged to pay the Estonian state €3,000.

"I am in favor of filing a civil lawsuit and I intend to discuss this with my party associates," Poolamets told ERR Tuesday, noting that the action was intended to damage the party's reputation and harm its support.

"There have been many cases in the world where one false complaint has affected the election results. Now Estonia's democracy has had rocks hurled at it," Poolamets went on.

Two elections took place in Estonia this year. At the Mar. 3 general election, the party came third and took 19 seats at the Riigikogu. It won one seat at the European elections in May.

Urmas Reitelmann, chair of EKRE's council, said that civil action was worth considering, but he was not sure whether it would be necessary.

"In any case, there is a case for litigation, since EKRE was clearly harmed [by the story] before the election ... while the court needs to discuss this foolishness," Reitelmann said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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