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Thursday, 12.12.2013, 01:22
Estonian prosecutors appeal land exchange court law
Feldmanis noted that the prosecutor's office thinks the case was justified and sufficient evidence to prove it was collected during the investigation and the prosecutor's office still thinks that all the defendants have to be found guilty of their charges.
The Harju County Court last Tuesday acquitted all suspects in the so-called land exchange criminal case in which two former Estonian ministers and several prominent businessmen were accused of bribery, deciding that the transactions that they conducted were legal.
The State Prosecutors Office accused former environment minister Villu Reiljan and former Land Board head Kalev Kangur in giving information to businessmen on which land units that had environmental protection restrictions on them, could be exchanged for which state-owned land units. The businessmen whom Reiljan and Kangur allegedly helped were construction company Merko Ehitus major owner Toomas Annus, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Tartu region former board member Tarmo Pedjasaar, TSM company manager Einar Vettus and Saarte Investeeringud manager Tullio Liblik.
According to the indictment, Kangur, Reiljan and the then agriculture minister Ester Tuiksoo received property and favours from the businessmen for these allegedly illegal activities.
According to the indictment, 13 allegedly illegal land exchange transactions, worth 250 mln kroons or nearly 16 million euros, were conducted.
All defendants claimed at the mammoth court process that started already on November 12, 2009 that they were innocent of any crimes.