Ex-minister, businessman and lawyer found guilty

Tallinn Circuit Court ruled today that ex-minister Villu Reiljan was guilty of asking a 1.5 million kroon bribe from businessman Aivo Pärn through his lawyer Tarmo Sild.

According to ERR, this means that the ruling of judge Märt Toming of Harju County Court on May 19 will stay. Under the judgement, Reiljan received a conditional sentence of 2 years 3 months in prison with 3-year probation period, Sild was ordered to pay 102,870 kroons for mediating the fine and Pärn was ordered to pay 143,440 kroons for promising to pay the bribe.

Lawyers of Reiljan, Pärn and Sild said today they will definitely appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court in cassation.

According to the ruling, Reiljan asked 1.5 million kroons in bribe in connection with the auction of the office building at Rävala 8 in central Tallinn held in autumn 2006 by the ministry of environmental affairs.

The starting price ofthe 16,600 square metre building was 315 million kroons. 33 bidders participated, with RealWAY that belongs to Marcel Vihmann and Tiit Pruuli having made the highest bid at 426 million kroons. Wipestrex Grupp made second-highest bid of 420 million, third was the amended offer by Wipestrex Grupp in the amount of 380 million and fourth was BPTO Peterburi OÜ with 325 million.

When the ministry declared RealWAY the winner of the auction, the company itself disputed the result itself and asked the court for protection.

The second round of bidding attracted only one bid by Wipestrex which offered 380 million for the building and demanded that the lease of current tenants be reduced from five years to one year.

In August 2006 the ministry said it had decided to sell the building to Wipestrex Grupp that belongs to Aivo Pärn. The company was to pay 380 million kroons for the building in addition to 63 million kroon deposit.

After acquiring the building, Wipestrex then sold it to RealWAY for 441 million