ISS says no grounds to open criminal investigation re chief prosecutor

  • 2021-10-05
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – After examining a crime report filed jointly by several defendants in ongoing court proceedings and a person under criminal investigation against Estonia's chief prosecutor Andres Parmas, the Internal Security Service (ISS) said that the information cited in the report provides no grounds for an investigation to be opened. 

In the last week of September, the ISS and the Office of the Prosecutor General received a crime report calling for criminal proceedings to be opened against Parmas for violating a procedural restriction and against chief state prosecutor Taavi Pern and state prosecutor Maria Entsik for participating in the violation of a procedural restriction.

The crime report alleges that Parmas violated a procedural restriction when he helped his friend Indrek Tibar get the specialist diplomat job of adviser to the Office of the Prosecutor General in the United States.

According to information obtained by BNS, the ISS did not find that Indrek Tibar has a direct influence on Andres Parmas or vice versa. According to the ISS, it takes more than two persons knowing each other and communicating with each other in their own time to constitute significant and direct influence within the meaning of the Anti-Corruption Act.

The ISS considered that Parmas and Tibar were not connected persons within the meaning of the Anti-Corruption Act and that, therefore, Parmas had not violated the restriction laid down in that law.

The appellants pointed out that the risk of corruption is also increased by the fact that Indrek Tibar used to be the head of anti-money laundering at Swedbank, whereas in his capacity as an adviser to the Office of the Prosecutor General, one of his duties is to lead the investigation into money laundering at Swedbank.

The ISS found that the above was not related to the fact that Parmas participated in the selection of the candidate for the post of adviser and that there was no reason to believe that a risk of conflict of public or private interests had occurred.

The crime report was filed by Kersti Kracht, former adviser to the minister of finance and business owner; Kajar Lember, former deputy mayor of Tartu and ex-MP; Valvo Semilarski, former deputy mayor of Tartu and business owner; and Eveli Vavrenjuk, judge of Tartu County Court.

Trials in which Lember, Semilarski and Vavrenjuk are defendants are currently ongoing, while Kracht has been declared suspect in a criminal investigation.