Estonia: Savisaar says will stay in politics for a long time

  • 2017-06-06
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Edgar Savisaar, suspended mayor of Tallinn and former chairman of the Estonian Center Party whom a forensic medical committee has declared fit to stand trial for alleged corruption offenses, said on social media that going by the opinion of the doctors, he will stay in politics for a long time.

"I have good news for you. Four experts (three pathologists -- autopsy doctors Ilona Drikkit, Marika Vali and Heldi Kase, and one cardiologist, Margus Viigimaa) decided that I am a person in good enough health. Practically a healthy man," Savisaar wrote on Facebook. "What I didn't get to ask the doctors is whether and for how long I will survive in politics still? Judging by the criteria of the experts, I will stay in politics for a long time to come."

Savisaar said that the trial is expected to take more than two years in the first court tier alone. "At least it's planned in the courthouse this way. I know that the decisions of Estonian courts are 98 percent in favor of the Prosecutor's Office. But Kaur Kender proved that it is possible to be among the two percent as well. This gives me hope. I'm going to the front!" Savisaar said referring to the acquittal of writer Kaur Kender on child pornography charges related to a piece of writing produced by the latter.

Harju County Court on Monday decided to prosecute Savisaar, finding that there is no medical reason to not prosecute him.

In the opinion of an expert committee of the Estonian Forensic Science Institute, Savisaar is able to attend the hearings of the graft case and bear liability in spite of his medical condition. According to the experts, Savisaar has to have access to medical care during the hearings and the hearings have to take place during short time periods, a spokesman for the court said.

Oliver Naas, the lawyer representing Savisaar, filed a request at a Mar. 21 preliminary hearing for Savisaar's graft case to be closed. He also presented to the court the medical records of Savisaar as well as assessments of four doctors. The court found that some of the assessments were based on speculations. Therefore, the court on Apr. 11 assigned Savisaar with a forensic medical committee examination.

The court on Monday also did not satisfy another request made by Savisaar's defense -- to close the criminal proceeding in connection with the reasonable proceeding time passing. According to the court, such a request cannot be made during preliminary hearing and can be made only during the court proceeding.

The Office of the Prosecutor General has brought charges against Savisaar for accepting bribes, money laundering, embezzlement, and accepting prohibited donation for the Center Party. The same charges have been lodged against Alexander Kofkin, Vello Kunman, Villu Reiljan, Hillar Teder, Kalev Kallo, Aivar Tuulberg, Priit Kutser and the Center Party.

The hearing of Savisaar is to start in the Tallinn-based Harju County Court on June 12.