The Minister of Justice Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning the activities of investigative and surveillance bodies, submitted on September 27 by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Jaanus Marrandi, Mai Treial, Tarmo Mänd and Ester Tuiksoo. The interpellators also wished to know the circumstances relating to the investigation of the land exchange transactions.
In his reply, Lang gave a statistical overview of the activities of investigative and surveillance bodies. The Minister of Justice pointed out that surveillance activities, including wire tapping, may only be carried out in exceptional cases. “Statistics show that it has remained exceptional in practice, too. The right to wire tapping has been used in not more than 0.5 per cent of criminal matters,” Lang said. Answering the question about initiating of disciplinary proceedings with regard to prosecutors in the last three years, Lang noted that the Minister of Justice has initiated no disciplinary proceedings with regard to prosecutors in the last three years. The Chief Public Prosecutor has initiated five disciplinary proceedings with regard to prosecutors in those years. “In all five cases, the prosecutors have been convicted of disciplinary offences by the disciplinary committee. One prosecutor was punished with a reprimand and, by the way, the punishment was later annulled by the administrative court, and another prosecutor was punished by reduction of salary. The rest of the three prosecutors were left without punishment on the basis of the Prosecutors Act and on the proposal of the disciplinary committee,” Lang explained.
A criminal proceeding has been commenced for the investigation of the land exchange transactions which has not been delayed, nor have there been any disruptions, the Minister of Justice affirmed. It has been an extremely extensive investigation. In addition, the materials concerning one land exchange transaction have been separated for separate investigation and there is no suspect in that criminal matter today. The Minister of Justice has not verified whether the procedural acts are lawful and reasoned, because, pursuant to subsection 9 (1) of the Prosecutor’s Office Act, the supervisory control exercised by the Ministry of Justice does not extend to the activities of the Prosecutor’s Office in pre-trial criminal proceedings. The Chief Public Prosecutor has assured Lang that he has been staying informed of the given criminal proceedings and that he has no information concerning unlawful or unreasonable procedural acts. Also, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not established any offence in the course of the resolution of the appeals filed in this criminal matter. At the moment, proceedings are being conducted with regard to three appeals at the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Lang explained.
The Minister of Justice Rein Lang also replied to the interpellation concerning the administrative incapacity of the Ministry of Justice, submitted on October 8 by Members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Evelyn Sepp, Jaak Aab, Toivo Tootsen, Aivar Riisalu and Lauri Laasi. The interpellators asked for information about various circumstances relating to prisoners. Lang said about employment of prisoners that not only is the Estonian Prison Industry Ltd engaging with the organisation of work in the classical sense but it also serves in a way as a co-ordinator of vocational education and provider of professional skills. “We have to find the possibilities to teach a speciality of some kind to people which they could engage in independently after release from prison,” Lang explained.
The verbatim record (in Estonian) can be found at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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