Eesti in brief - 2005-10-05

  • 2005-10-05
The Police Board will launch misdemeanor proceedings over a controversial ad promoting a new chocolate-covered curd snack but closely resembling the logo of the Center Party. The ad was commissioned by the Kohuke company and created by the Center Party's advertising agency. Departmental director of the Police Board Indrek Tibar said public interest in the case was strong, while the legal chancellor has recommended taking action. Justice Minister Rein Lang said he agreed with the legal chancellor's opinion, and claimed that continuation of the scandalous ad may jeopardize the legitimacy of upcoming local polls.

The government has decided to scrap plans to organize the 2007 annual meeting of shareholders in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Tallinn. Parliament found that it was not expedient to channel public resources into staging the event.

The Genome Project Foundation succeeded in winning funding from the state budget for the first time. "It's too soon yet to say anything concrete. It seems to me that one thing is certain -- for the first time in history the Genome Project Foundation is going to be a separate item of the state budget. But it's a very small item in the beginning," the foundation's chairman, Richard Villems, told the Baltic News Service. Villems said he did not know the exact sum the foundation could receive, but Social Affairs Minister Jaak Aab hinted at a few million kroons. The genome project ran into problems after its original backer, EGeen, backed out of the agreement in December 2004.

The pro-minority electoral bloc Spisok Klenskogo (Klenski List) said it suspected the government of deliberately working against political forces representing Russian-speaking residents, and has sent a corresponding complaint to the European Union.

Two Lithuanian nationals sentenced to jail for the murder of an Estonian media businessman have contested the conviction. Antanas Kazlauskis, 36, convicted of organizing the murder of Vitaly Khaitov, and Zilvinas Gudonis, 37, convicted of homicide, want the second-instance Tallinn Circuit Court to acquit them. A lower-level court sentenced Gudonis to 10 years in prison for homicide and illegal possession and use of a weapon, while Kazlauskis received a nine-year jail sentence.

Officers of the Tax and Customs Board found 6 million contraband Marlboro cigarettes in a customs warehouse. Officials discovered the cigarettes in a Tallinn warehouse in the northeast part of the country. The board estimates the potential loss to the state at nearly 3.7 million kroons (236,420 euros).