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The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour the Statement on expression of recognition to Estonian citizens (179 AE), submitted by 44 members of the Riigikogu. In the Statement, the Riigikogu recognises the citizens of the Republic of Estonia who took actual steps towards de facto restoration of the Republic of Estonia in the years of the occupation of the Soviet Union or National Socialist Germany. At the same time, in the same Statement, the Riigikogu condemns the repressive politics of the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany, and the activities of the persons who have committed crimes against humanity in the service of these regimes, regardless of their citizenship and the location of commission of the crime.

Comments were presented by Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Aadu Must, Mart Meri and Raivo Järvi.

The Minister of Justice Kristen Michal gave an overview of the implementation of the development objectives of criminal policy until 2018 in 2011 to the Riigikogu. The Minister recalled that the present Government is also guided by a rational and cross-party criminal policy. At the same time it is considered important that the shaping of criminal policy should be essentially knowledge-based, that is, all significant legislative amendments are analysed both before and after implementation. Michal stated that criminal policy is closely connected with other areas of politics which is why the development objectives contain many references to the activities of e.g. the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Social Affairs. He stressed that the main goal of criminal policy is to prevent crime.

When speaking about the forecast made a year ago, the Minister noted that thefts and robberies had decreased considerably the previous year. Somewhat more fake euros had been detected but, at the same time, counterfeiting of other currencies had decreased. “Investigative bodies and the Prosecutor’s Office registered 42,567 crimes in 2011. This is 12% less than in 2010 and 26% less than in 2003,” Michal said.

The Minister of Justice admitted that, on the negative side, the increase of the number of traffic and violent crimes stands out. Driving while intoxicated accounts for the majority of traffic crimes; in 2011, 10% more such crimes were registered than a year earlier. “I dare say that alcohol is the main factor affecting crime in Estonia and this is manifested, in the first place, in traffic and violent crime. The trends of recent years show that, when alcohol consumption decreases, then the number of manslaughters and murders and minor violent crimes also decreases,” he added.

When speaking about the activities of 2011, the Minister of Justice said that reducing the contact with the legal system for minors had had an important place; attention had been paid to fraud and corruption risks in the health care sector, treatment of sexual offenders, as well as to issues relating to imprisonment policy. Among other things, crime costs were also analysed. In the near future, completion of the new Anti-corruption Bill and amendments to the Forensic Examination Act are due, and a revision of the Penal Code lies ahead. The Minister of Justice believes that good cooperation with the Riigikogu will continue and that the internal security goal for the coming years might be Estonia as a secure Nordic country.

Comments were presented by Members of the Riigikogu Marko Pomerants, Kalle Jents, Andres Anvelt and Peeter Võsa.

For more details, read the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

The Riigikogu Press Service