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