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.


Daily: Diplomat gets COVID-19 vaccine in Narva ahead of returning to Russia

An internal investigation at a hospital in the eastern Estonian town of Narva is underway after daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reported that an outgoing, high-level Russian diplomat received the full coronavirus vaccine dose at the facility, a few days before returning to Russia and despite Kremlin-backing media calling western COVID-19 vaccines dangerous.


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.


Tallinn Mayor also questioned in Porto Franco investigation

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) has been questioned in regard to a real estate loan scandal which led to the resignation of Jüri Ratas (Center) as prime minister early on Wednesday. Tallinn City Government's offices have also been subject of a search by the Internal Security Service (ISS).

Speaking to ETV morning show "Terevisioon" Wednesday, Kõlvart said the investigation and case had been a surprise to him.


Estonian government collapses over corruption investigation

Prime minister resigns after party named as suspect in inquiry into property project

Estonia’s prime minister has resigned after police and prosecutors launched an investigation into an alleged corruption scandal involving his left-leaning Centre party related to a property development.

Jüri Ratas, the prime minister since 2016, handed his resignation letter to the president on Wednesday, local media reported, bringing down the centre-right coalition government he heads that also includes a far-right party.


Center Secretary-General, four others suspects in Porto Franco ISS probe

The Public Prosecutor's Office says it suspects five people, and the coalition Center Party, of criminal involvement in the Porto Franco real estate case. Among the five people Secretary General of the Center Party Mihhail Korb, adviser to the Minister of Finance Kersti Kracht and businessman Hillar Teder.

The case revolves around a €39-million loan granted by state credit agency KredEx in summer for the Porto Franco development in Tallinn, ostensibly money meant for businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.


Riigikogu member's corruption conviction upheld by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Estonia has dismissed appeals by the defense and the prosecution in a case related to corruption crimes committed in the Tallinn city government. Center Party MP Kalev Kallo will now leave the Riigikogu.

The State Prosecutor accused several business owners of giving or promising bribes to the former Mayor of Tallinn and Chairman of the Center Party Edgar Savisaar and member of Riigikogu Kalev Kallo of aiding with the corruption crimes.


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.


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.


Two Tartu deputy mayors suspected of corruption

Officials of the Internal Security Service (ISS) on Wednesday morning arrested Tartu Deputy Mayor Valvo Semilarski, member of the Reform Party, and Deputy Mayor Artjom Suvorov, of the Center Party, as suspects in multiple corruption offenses.


Voters trusted corrupt officials

Candidates previously convicted of misuse of power or embezzlement of public funds did well at local elections as most of them made it to local government councils.

The elections saw five candidates charged with or convicted of corruption crimes three of whom were elected in the end.

There were also six candidates who have been charged with or are currently on trial for misuse of public authority. All six were elected.


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.