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Former minister sentenced for bribery

  • 2009-05-20
  • By TBT Staff
TALLINN - Former Environment Minister and leader of the People's Union Villu Reiljan has been sentenced to two years and three months in prison for demanding a bribe.
The Estonian-language daily Aripaev reported that Reiljan was given the conditional sentence by the Harju County Court on May 19.
Reiljan was convicted of demanding a bribe in connection with the auction of the Ravala 8 building in 2006.

Lawyer Tarmo Sild and businessman Aivo Parn were also sentenced for their roles in the affair. Sild, who acted as a middleman for the bribe, was given a fine of 102,870 kroons (6,575 euros). Parn was slapped with a fine of 143,440 kroons.
All three have also been forced to pay the enforcement fee of 6,525 kroons.

The public prosecutor had asked for a 3.5 year prison sentence for Reiljan. The prosecutor had also requested that Sild go to prison for 11 months and Parn be fined 65,200 kroons.
All three defendants had pled not guilty to the crimes, and had claimed that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence proving their guilt.

The Public Prosecutor's Office brought charges against Reiljan, Sild and Parn in March.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the investigation found that Reiljan demanded a bribe from Wipestrex Group representative Aivo Parn in the amount of 1.5 million kroons for making a favorable decision in the sale of the office building, which took place in August 2006.

CRACKDOWN

On the same day, local media reported on the sentencing of Indrek Kressa, the former deputy head of the Social Insurance Board, for accepting a bribe.  Kressa was given 1.5 years in prison, which will translate into six months in jail and a two year probation period.
The court found that Kressa, who oversaw the board's IT development, received more than 1 million kroons in bribe money from Medisoft, an Estonian developer of medical IT systems. The bribe was allegedly to ensure that Medisoft got a total of 40 procurement contracts worth 56.5 million over the space of a number of years.

Teet Kallaste, head of the Social Insurance Board's system technology department, allegedly received 300,000 kroons in 1997 and 2005 from Medisoft. Kallaste's case has been separated from Kressa's because of his health condition.
Medisoft reportedly gave the bribe in the shape of cash and also by entering into bogus employment contracts.