Estonia, Legislation, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 02.06.2020, 10:24

Estonian police search premises of businessman Leedo's companies, Leedo also a suspect

BC, Tallinn, 09.05.2019.Print version
Employees of the Central Criminal Police on Wednesday searched the premises of companies of Estonian businessman Vjatseslav Leedo and have launched a criminal investigation in order to determine whether the bankruptcy of Leedo's Saaremaa Laevakompanii was caused intentionally, while both Leedo and the company's CEO Tonis Rihvk have been named as suspects, reported LETA/BNS.

Officials of the Central Criminal Police on May 8 searched the premises used by Saaremaa Laevakompanii and Holostovi Kinnisvarahaldus in Saaremaa.

The prosecutor's office launched a criminal investigation in order to check allegations cited in a submitted report of criminal offense. "The state's task is to ensure a fair and transparent economic and competition environment and if there are characteristics of crime in the circumstances concerning the causing of a company's bankruptcy, it is our responsibility to investigate those suspicions," Kaido Tuulemae, specialized prosecutor at the West District Prosecutor's Office, tolld.

Ats Kubarsepp, head of division of the economic crimes department of the Central Criminal Police, said that the purpose of the search is to find evidence confirming or refuting what has been identified so far and help determine the truth.

"Based on the evidence gathered so far, we have reached a phase where it is necessary to investigate the company's accounting documents and other evidence that can be found in the course of searches," Kubarsepp said.

There are four suspects in the criminal case. Leedo is suspected of causing bankruptcy and using a forged document and Rihvk is suspected of forging a document and causing insolvency. Another person linked to the company is suspected of forgery and another of aiding the causing of bankruptcy.

"A statement of suspicion does not mean that the question of guilt has been decided but people have the right to be informed about their status in the criminal case," Tuulemae said.

After the searches, the documents and data media found and confiscated will be analyzed and suspects and significant witnesses questioned. After that, it will be possible to decide over the further course of the proceedings.

Criminal proceedings are ongoing and the more specific details of the suspicion will not be disclosed at present. "Interrogations are continuing today and we do not want witnesses to hear about the specific content of the suspicion from media," the prosecutor said.

Vjatseslav Leedo told that he welcomes the developments. "After all, this process is long, it'll be a year and a half since the beginning of the process concerning the company's bankruptcy. Now, if anyone has suspicions, they should turn [to the prosecutor's office], the prosecutor's office is doing its job," he said.

When asked what could be the reason for the investigation, Leedo said he is not even pondering over this. "People can have all kinds of motivations and suspicions. I assume that the trustee in bankruptcy is doing their work honestly and normally, that law enforcement authorities are doing their work honestly and in an unbiased manner. The clearer the water is, the less speculation of all kind there will be," Leedo said.

The criminal investigation is being carried out by the economic crimes department of the Central Criminal Police and led by the West District Prosecutor's Office.

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