The police announced on November 24th last year that a criminal offense had been initiated on the basis of the section of the Anti-Corruption Act on the Corrupt Use of Public Funds (KVS § 17). While prosecutors found no elements of a possible crime at the time, things have changed two and a half months later.
Ats Kübarsepp, head of the corruption crime bureau of the Central Criminal Police, said detectives have been collecting evidence of possible misuse of ministerial property since November.
“The investigation revealed evidence of a crime, which is why we will continue to investigate the circumstances of the criminal proceedings. The investigation is tied to information that was previously reported in the media,” said Kübarsepp.
Prosecutor Denis Tšasovskih said the prosecutor was investigating possible misappropriation of ministry property.
“Previously initiated proceedings will continue at the evidence-gathering stage to review suspicions of a crime. No official suspicions have been raised at this point,” added the prosecutor.
The daily Õhtuleht reported on November 17 that then Education Minister Mailis Reps had abused the ministry’s property and work when her driver had her children brought to and from school and hobby school. It later emerged that the representatives had brought their company car to a vacation in Croatia without being officially on vacation.
While representatives said she would not resign in the early days of the scandal, she changed her mind and said she would return to Riigikogu on November 20.
Representatives played an important role in forming the new Estonian government as the centre’s chief negotiator.
Mailis Reps has been a member of the Center Party since 1998 and is currently deputy chairman of the coalition party. She was discussed as a potential presidential candidate for the center.
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