Tallinn city official detained on suspicion of bribery

A City of Tallinn official has been detained by the Internal Security Service (ISS), on suspicion of involvement in bribery.

On Tuesday, a court allowed Liinat to be detained for up to two months.

Tõnis Liinat (Center), who is elder of the Pirita district of Tallinn, was detained Monday, daily Postimees reported (link in Estonian), along with other individuals, described as "entrepreneurs".

The ISS detained a total of four people on Monday in relation to suspected corruption.

A 51-year-old man is under suspicion of bribery, a 40-year-old man of bribery and aiding and abetting same and a 49-year-old man stands suspected of bribery, insurance fraud and causing property damage.

Northern district prosecutor Triinu Olevi said Tuesday that Liinat is under suspicion of using his position as a district mayor to direct decisions concerning the procurement and contracts related to Pirita's streets, green areas and beach maintenance, for personal gain and not related to the political party to which he belongs.

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said: "We are dealing with a very serious case."

"We don't know anything about the substance of the case at the moment, as we have no information either from the prosecutor's office, or from Tõnis Liinat. We hope that law enforcement agencies will do their work quickly and we are ready for all-round cooperation," the mayor added, via a spokesperson.

Liinat was detained as part of procedures initiated by the ISS, known in Estonian by the organization's acronym, Kapo, ERR reports.

The Pirita district offices said that no search had been conducted on their premises, adding that Tuesday had passed off as a normal, peaceable working day so far.

A prosecutor's office spokesperson pledged to provide more detailed information in the near future. It is standard practice for the ISS or for the Police and Border Guard Board to conduct their investigations under the prosecutor's office's guidance.

Liinat had been Pirita district elder (Vanavallem) since May 2019, and joined the Center party at the end of 2016.

Read the article at ERR.