Galojan, Kaldalu set up electoral alliance named Protest

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Anna-Maria Galojan kohtus

PHOTO: Priit Simson

Shortly before the acceptance of applications for registration of electoral alliances for Estonia's Oct. 20 local polls ended on Thursday an application was filed by an alliance named Protest, the representatives of which are Anna-Maria Galojan and Meelis Kaldalu.

The former is a 31-year-old woman wanted in Estonia who allegedly resides in the UK and the latter a 33-year-old man freed of theft charges on grounds of mental incompetency earlier this year.

Spokespeople for the electoral authority of Tallinn told BNS Thursday afternoon that the application of behalf of Protest was filed by Kaldalu. The electoral alliance has not been registered yet.

Galojan, former head of the Estonian European Movement, is on the run to avoid serving her five-month sentence for embezzlement and document forgery. Galojan was supposed to arrive in jail to start serving her sentence on Feb. 7, 2012 but failed to show up.

Her conviction and partially non-suspended jail sentence became final in January 2012 when the Supreme Court threw out an appeal filed by her defense.

The Harju regional court in May 2011 sentenced Galojan to 22 months imprisonment of which five months is real jail time and the rest conditional with a probationary period of four years. Besides she was prohibited from serving in governing bodies of legal entities for three years. The court ordered Galojan to pay the NPO 47,956 euros. The appeals court added a fine for delay in the amount of 17,650 euros to the sum owed.

The statement of charges listed 15 criminal episodes from which it appears that Galojan spent more than 900,000 kroons (EUR 57,500) of the NGO's money in just three months, most of it on expensive garments, travel, beauty services and jewelry. According to the information gathered during the pretrial investigation Galojan committed the breaches in the period from June to September 2007 after she had become board member of the Estonian European Movement.

Galojan was arrested in London on Feb. 14, 2012 as she was going to renew her Estonian passport but was released by a court shortly afterwards on bail.

Owing to the difference of the UK legal system from the legal system of Continental Europe, a court in the UK has not recognized the European arrest warrant (EAW) issued on Galojan by the Estonian Ministry of Justice.

Kaldalu is accused of stealing a computer from the Estonian parliament building during a doors open day in April this year. Kaldalu has admitted taking the computer, saying he did it in the hope of exposing fraud committed in e-voting in Estonian elections.

Following a psychiatric evaluation the criminal case concerning Kaldalu was closed.

At the beginning of September Kaldalu announced in a video posted on Youtube that he would seek political asylum in the UK.

Previously Kaldalu had attracted attention by shunning the hand of the president's wife in the handshake ceremony at the president's Independence Day reception which he gained entry to as a person accompanying an invited guest.