Court suspends Tallinn Mayor from office over bribery case

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

A court in Estonia has on September 30 suspended from office the Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar, who is also the leader of Riigikogu’s second largest party, at the request of prosecutor investigating a high-profile corruption case.

ERR reports that Savisaar’s suspension is related to the criminal investigation, following last week’s revelations that the Mayor allegedly took bribes.

Prosecutor Laura Vaik has stated that she was pushing for Savisaar’s suspension because he «could otherwise influence the investigation and seek to destroy or hide documentary evidence at the Tallinn City Government.»

Harju County Court’s decision came into effect immediately on September 30, but Savisaar can appeal the ruling within ten days, pledged already by his lawyer Oliver Nääs.

The lawyer told ERR that court’s decision serves no purpose: «First of all, it has been a week since Savisaar was named suspect – if he had wanted, he would have already influenced people, but nothing like this has taken place. Secondly, Savisaar is the leader of the Center Party, which is in power in Tallinn».

Reportedly, Estonian State Prosecutor’s Office and Internal Security Service (ISS) are investigating Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar under suspicion of accepting properties and favours as bribes with a total value of hundreds of thousands of euros on behalf of himself and his Centre party.

ERR reported that the ISS, and the State Prosecutor’s Office, which heads the investigation, confirmed that six more people have been named suspects – businessmen and City Council Chairman Kalev Kallo in the case for giving and arranging bribes.

Estonian State Prosecutor Lavly Perling also unveiled criminal investigation was launched on July 17, 2014 and involves four instances of bribery.

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