Court closes proceedings for Center Party €50,000 prohibited donation case

The Harju County Court closed proceedings on Monday against Jana-Helen Juhaste and her former partner Martin Kunnap, who were accused of making a prohibited donation of €50,000 to the Center Party, and endorsed an agreement on punishment agreed between the prosecution and co-defendant Catalina Porro.

The court ordered Kunnap to perform 200 hours of community service and make a donation of €15,000 to the Tallinn Children's Hospital Support Fund and Juhaste to make a donation of €5,000 to the Children's Fund of Tartu University Hospital.

By the court's order, the €50,000 seized as a prohibited donation will be transferred into public revenues.

The court also upheld a deal entered into by Catalina Porro, fellow accused of the former in the case, with the prosecutor's office, according to which the court sentenced her to a fine of €2,500, minus the two days spent by her in pre-trial detention, and ordered that this fine be conditional with one-year probation.

In addition, €20,000 will be confiscated from Porro and given to the state. Porro must pay the sums within a year.

Chief State Prosecutor Taavi Pern told BNS the court found influence-peddling took place exactly as stated in the indictment

"Today's court orders and the guilty verdict also show that if the parties to the proceedings are willing to cooperate and contribute to the identification of the persons involved in the crime, the state can influence them in the case of second-degree crimes differently than in situations where they do not," Pern said.

"Corruption crimes undermine both fair competition and the credibility of the public sector. It is therefore important to prevent these acts from being committed and to establish what has taken place as soon as possible. It is positive when the perpetrators understand and dare to admit their mistake, and the notion increasingly takes root in society that trying to succeed dishonestly can result in the opposite consequences, as well as in punishment," the state prosecutor added.

Read more at ERR.