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Kallas: ERJK may get powers to scrutinize political parties' expenses

To curb political funding, the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERJK) may gain the right to check the expenses of political parties, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Wednesday.
Speaking during her first Riigikogu question time on Wednesday about tackling corruption, Kallas said one idea which has been raised is that income, as well as expenses, should be scrutinized by the commission. She also raised the question of who pays for advertising.


Prosecution reclassifies Reps proceedings as criminal

Misdemeanor proceedings brought against then Minister of Education Mailis Reps (Center) in November in connection with use of an official vehicle for private trips have been reclassified as criminal.

The police said on November 24 last year that misdemeanor proceedings have been launched based on the section of the Anti-Corruption Act on corruptive use of public resources (KVS § 17). While the Prosecutor's Office found no elements of a possible criminal offense back then, things have changed two and a half months later.


Valga hospital chief removed after offering COVID-19 vaccines to associates

Valga Hospitals' board decided on Wednesday, January 27, to recall from office its head, Margus Ulst. Ulst had offered acquaintances from the Rotary International organization the chance to jump the line in vaccinations against COVID-19. The board says Ulst's overall management of the vaccine program had been under review, and not just his unofficial offer of surplus coronavirus vaccine doses.


Hospital boss caught offering Rotary Club preferential coronavirus vaccines

The head of Valga Hospital in South Estonia has been trying to give preferential treatment to members of international ethical and humanitarian service organization Rotary International in administering coronavirus vaccines at the hospital he manages. The Tartu branch of Rotary International, known informally as the Rotary Club refused his approach, which comprised vaccinations sufficient for around a dozen potential individuals, Baltic News Service reports.


Corruption trial of former Port of Tallinn chief wound up on health grounds

The corruption trial of former Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) board member Allan Kiil has been terminated on health grounds.

Harju County Court made the decision to wrap up proceedings based on a medical report Tuesday. Kiil's lawyer Aivar Pilv had filed the application, which followed a court-ordered medical examination in mid-September.


State developing bill to protect whistleblowers

The Ministry of Justice is preparing to develop a bill to protect whistleblowers. By the end of 2021, Estonia must transfer the EU's Directive on the Protection of Whistleblowers into law.

Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) said: "A number of recent cases clearly show that whistleblowing can have unintended consequences. Creating information channels and providing legal protection contributes to the development of a transparent and open society, and it is certainly important for companies to solve their problems quickly and adequately."


Prosecution cracks first link in Danske money laundering chain

The prosecution broke down one of the defensive walls of Danske money launderers yesterday when it brought suspicions against the bank’s former foreign client managers and their head. Six former Danske Estonia employees were detained on Tuesday and four more yesterday.


10 Danske ex-employees suspected of laundering money in Georgia, Azerbaijan

The ten persons detained in connection with alleged money laundering at the Estonian branch of Danske Bank mostly worked as relationship managers and all of them are accused of money laundering; the amount of dirty money being spoken about totals 300 million euros, prosecutors said at a press conference in Tallinn on Wednesday.


Why Danske Bank Estonia appears in so many money-laundering scandals

Last year, a series of investigations across Europe led by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) uncovered the Azerbaijani Laundromat — a network of illicit financial payments that used reputable banks and secret companies to funnel payments from a US$2.9 billion slush fund to buy political influence and launder Azerbaijan’s international image.

In this scheme, most of the funds were deposited into bank accounts that four UK-registered shell companies held in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank.


Seli calls for inspection of Estonian Air and Eesti Energia

Reform Party member and former Port of Tallinn supervisory board head, Neinar Seli said after corruption allegations against Port of Tallinn's board members surfaced, that other state-owned companies should also be closely examined, such as Eesti Energia and Estonian Air.


3 arrested in Jõhvi municipality corruption case

KaPo, the Internal Security Service, has arrested a Jõhvi councilman, a former local politician and a businessman accused of rigging state procurements, bribery and influence peddling.


€10 Bribe Ends Up €700 Fine

Viru County Court handed a 35-year-old Lithuanian man a 700-euro fine for attempting to bribe an Estonian customs official with 500 rubles (10.5 euros).


Siim Kallas: Why The West will never understand Russia

Moscow will look for every way to circumvent the sanctions and encourage divisions within the European Union before the question of economic sanctions returns, writes Siim Kallas.


OECD Concerned About Estonian Anti-Bribery Efforts

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has criticized Estonia's efforts to tamp down bribery from foreign sources, saying in a new report that the country may not have an adequate legal framework yet to handle it.


Border Guard Rocked by Bribery and Fraud Cases

Four employees of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) were apprehended in September for a case of bribery amounting to 50,000 euros and a separate embezzlement case.


Slowing the Revolving Door Between Public and Private Jobs

It has been called “corrupt,” “corrosive” and “hazardous to our health.” Yet, Washington’s revolving door spins on.


Corruption Low, Most Bribes Paid Toward Medical Services

A fresh survey reconfirms Estonia's low level of corruption. Of the 6 percent of respondents who did admit to paying a bribe in the last year, most said they did so in exchange for medical services.


New Anti-Corruption Strategy Focuses on Government Offices

The Ministry of Justice has completed a new strategy paper to combat corruption, centering on increasing transparency in state institutions by making a number of databases accessible to all.


Ilves Extols Transparency, Open Data at UK Google Conference

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in remarks at a prestigious Google conference that IT solutions helped make Estonia bigger than its geographic borders.


A Fifth of Baltic Business Willing to Pay Bribes, Study Finds

A recent survey by Ernst & Young shows that as many as 19 percent of businesses in the Baltic states are prepared to offer bribes to enliven their business activities, a drastic increase from only 4 percent a year ago.