Eesti in brief - 2004-09-29

  • 2004-09-29
The International Car-Free Day in Tallinn on Sept. 22, resulted in about two times more car accidents than usual. In Tallinn and the nearby Harju county 32 car accidents were registered, while the regular daily number of those usually remains between 15 and 18, according to the police. The Car-Free Day is aimed at raising environmental awareness and stimulation to use public transport in cities with a large number of cars.

The case of the two men who committed cyberfraud in 1999 using the account of Eesti Post, the national post company, has reached the courts. The heist's mastermind, identified as Priit, illegally logged onto Eesti Post's bank account using data received from his accomplice Andre, who then worked for Eesti Post as a computer specialist, and transferred about 357,000 euros to six bank accounts of unrelated private individuals. Andre reportedly installed keyboard-screening software onto the computer of Eesti Post chief accountant to get the bank account passwords.

Prime Minister Juhan Parts, Europarliament member Toomas Hendrik Ilves and a group of Estonian WWII guerilla fighters known as the Forest Brothers will compete for the Citizen of the Year award, Population Affairs Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo said. The minister received as many as eight suggestions, others including Olympic silver medallist Juri Jaanson, Father Vello Salo, orphanage director Inge Ojala, video artist Kristel Pold and singer Helen Tartes. The citizen of the year will be announced Nov. 26.

Selling alcohol to minors will become a criminal offense pursuant to amendments to the criminal code that have been initiated by the Pro Patria Union faction. The government has supported the idea that the first case of selling alcohol to minors will be punished with a fine, but the second such case may lead to one to three years of imprisonment. The bill may receive further changes until Oct. 12.

Police in southern Estonia detained a 33-year-old Tonu on a countryside road, who had been driving a technically unfit vehicle while being drunk. The car, an old Moskvich (photo), did not have a door on the driver's side, both front and rear windshields were missing, there was a big hole in the roof and the car's headlights were not working. To boot, the car was also unregistered. The southern Estonian police department claimed it was the most severely unfit vehicle they'd ever stopped. The driver will face a fine of about 1,150 euros or 30 days in prison.

Federal police issued a reprimand to the Lihula municipality for two breaches involving the erection of the freedom fighter monument on Aug. 20 - police warned on Aug. 19 not to proceed - and for holding a public gathering in the small cemetary where the monument was erected. It was forcibly removed by police on Sept. 2.