The Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (551 SE) passed the first reading in the Riigikogu. It will set specific time-limits for pre-trial proceedings in order to avoid excessively lengthy pre-trial investigations.
Under the Bill initiated by members of the Riigikogu Igor Gräzin, Toomas Vitsut, Valdo Randpere, Artur Talvik, Peeter Ernits, Liisa Oviir, Martin Helme and Henn Põlluaas, the time-limit for pre-trial proceedings will be three months, six months in the case of a complicated case, and nine months as a maximum.
Igor Gräzin, who presented the purposes of the Bill at the sitting, said that specific procedural time-limits helped avoid violation of human rights.
Under the current Code of Criminal Procedure, pre-trial proceedings must be conducted within a reasonable period of time. The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms does not provide for a specific time-limit for conducting the proceedings either. The reasonability of the time of proceedings is assessed according to the established practice of the European Court of Human Rights on the basis of the circumstances of the particular court case, taking into account, among other things, the complexity of the court case, and the conduct of the complainant and the relevant authorities.
During the debate, Raivo Aeg from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction took the floor. In his opinion, setting specific time-limits for pre-trial investigation damaged the interests of victims, but it was the duty of the state to protect all its citizens, including victims.
Jüri Adams from the Free Party Faction also did not support the inclusion of rigid time-limits in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Mart Helme, who took the floor on behalf of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, called on everyone to support the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Jaanus Karilaid from the Centre Party Faction emphasised that the Bill still needed improvement. At the same time, in his opinion, already today’s discussion was great progress.
The Riigikogu passed the Resolution “Release of the Justice of the Supreme Court Indrek Koolmeister from the Office of Justice” (579 OE) in connection with retirement of the justice due to old age as of 30 June. 78 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution.
The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act (555 SE) was adjourned in the Riigikogu due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly. The deliberation of the Bill submitted by members of the Riigikogu Jüri Adams, Andres Herkel, Artur Talvik, Krista Aru and Monika Haukanõmm will continue next Tuesday.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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