Savisaar defeated in court after contesting influence agent article

Edgar Savisaar.

PHOTO: Tairo Lutter

Yesterday, Tallinn District Court rejected complaint by Centre Party chairman Edgar Savisaar against Postimees for publishing in 2010 the assessment by Estonian Security Police describing Mr Savisaar as agent of influence for Russia and a threat to security of Estonian state.

Mr Savisaar was dissatisfied with the headline in Postimees and its web-portal dated December 16th 2010 being «Counterintelligence describes Edgar Savisaar as Russia’s influence agent» (Vastuluure kirjeldab Edgar Savisaart Venemaa mõjuagendina) and the following text excerpts: «Estonian President, Prime Minister and interior minister hold informational report by Security Police in which Centre Party chairman Edgar Savisaar is called a threat to state security.» and «Turns out, namely, that since the start of the summer Mr Savisaar has for counterintelligence officials carried the label «security threat» and regarding him is used the name «influence agent».»

Also, Mr Savisaar was displeased with the heading of a story the day after of «Security threat of Savisaar stood in influence peddling» (Savisaare julgeolekuoht seisnes mõjuvõimuga kauplemises).

According to action filed at Harju County Court, Mr Savisaar said factual errors had been committed regarding him being a Russian influence agent, a security threat and influence peddler. Mr Savisaar thought these were infringing his rights and he demanded that they be refuted or pronounced unlawful and the moral damage caused by publication thereof to be compensated.

As pointed out by Harju County Court in mid-May, Mr Savisaar had arrived at the arbitrary conclusion as if it was Postimees and Tuuli Koch who called Mr Savisaar these things.

The court ruled that all Postimees did in its articles was refer to claims by Security Police and its assessment to behaviour of Mr Savisaar. As pointed out by the court, the plaintiff never contested what Security Police was saying regarding him. Yesterday, Mr Savisaar said he would appeal District Court ruling to Supreme Court.

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