Missing documents still a mystery

  • 2005-11-30
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Some 68 confidential documents missing from the Foreign Ministry have still not been accounted for, and the prosecutor's office will decide during December whether to take legal action. "The case has not advanced beyond being processed," senior prosecutor with the northern prosecutor's office, Kristel Siitam-Nyiri, told the Eesti Paevaleht daily.

"Since the question concerns state secrets, I cannot comment in greater detail."

During a routine check in February, security police officers established that either the ministry presented an incomplete set of the 91 classified documents or that it didn't present them at all. Subsequent statements about the incident by then Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland enraged Juhan Parts, who was prime minister at the time, and led to the fall of the government.

Siitam-Nyiri said that 68 documents are still unaccounted for. She refused to specify the period during which the documents were drafted and when they had disappeared.

Previously, the period of 1996-2004 had been mentioned. "Some episodes are, however, quite new," she said. "I believe we shall decide within this year whether this matter will go to court," Siitam-Nyiri said.

In March, security police launched criminal proceedings to establish the circumstances under which the Foreign Ministry failed to present a part of the 91 classified documents.

The ministry explained that the missing documents must have been destroyed. The procedure, however, apparently was not documented in conformity with rules.

Under the Penal Code, the loss of a document containing classified information is punishable by a fine or a jail sentence of up to one year.