The former Environment Minister will have to spend more than two years in prison for soliciting a bribe. (photo: Estonian parliament)
TALLINN - A prominent lawmaker and former minister has been sentenced to serve a 2 year jail sentence after losing his appeal of a bribery conviction.
Ex-minister Villu Reiljan was found guilty of asking a 1.5 million kroon bribe from businessman Aivo Parn through his lawyer Tarmo Sild.
Reiljan received a conditional sentence of 2 years 3 months in prison with 3-year probation period. Sild was ordered to pay 102,870 kroons for mediating the bribe and Pärn was ordered to pay 143,440 kroons.
Reiljan is a former environment minister and one of the leading members of the People's Union. As part of the ruling he will be stripped of his status as an MP and will be barred from running in future elections.
The bribe involved preferential treatment in an auction of the office building at Rävala 8 in central Tallinn held in autumn 2006 by the ministry of environmental affairs.
In August 2006 the ministry said it had decided to sell the building to Wipestrex Grupp that belongs to Aivo Pärn. The company was to pay 380 million kroons for the building despite a higher bid of 426 million previously made by REALWay.