End­ing Sav­isaar's cor­rup­tion case iden­ti­fies short­com­ings in Es­to­nian law, says prose­cu­tor

Baltic News Network - - News -

Af­ter a high-pro­file cor­rup­tion case against former Tallinn Mayor Edgar Sav­isaar was ended this week by a court rul­ing based on the de­fen­dant’s poor health, Es­to­nian head prose­cu­tor Steven-Hristo Eves­tus has pledged to ap­peal against it and pointed to short­com­ings in Es­to­nian law.

LETA-BNS re­ported on Tues­day, June 5, that Eves­tus the rul­ing was taken by sur­prise that the crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings con­tin­u­ing since 2015 have been closed with nei­ther a con­vic­tion, nor a not-guilty ver­dict and said he would look for ev­ery le­gal op­tion to con­test the rul­ing.

The Harju County Court ruled on Tues­day based on a claim by Sav­isaar’s lawyer Oliver Nääs that the de­fen­dant at­tend­ing court pro­ceed­ings could en­dan­ger his life and he would not be able to ful­fil a pos­si­ble prison sen­tence. The court also ruled that the rul­ing was fi­nal and can­not be ap­pealed against.

The lawyer based his claim on the find­ings of en­docri­nol­o­gist Vallo Volke, who is a mem­ber of the spe­cial com­mit­tee of the Es­to­nian Foren­sic Sci­ence In­sti­tute, that at­tend­ing court pro­ceed­ings could en­dan­ger his life.

«Stress-in­duced spikes in blood su­gar lev­els and blood pres­sure are dif­fi­cult if not im­pos­si­ble to pre­vent or con­trol in a court­room. Thus it is very likely that in the course of this trial, a new se­ri­ous health prob­lem or death could oc­cur that would be caused at least in part due to trial-re­lated stress» Volke found. Es­to­nian po­lit­i­cal heavy­weight Sav­isaar, who was sus­pended from the of­fice of Mayor of Tallinn with a court order in 2015. The trial in a large-scale cor­rup­tion case with him as a de­fen­dant con­tin­ues with in­ter­rup­tions since 2017.

The politi­cian has de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

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