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Conviction of Center Party's Toobal, Laasi becomes final

Oliver Nääs, Priit Toobal ja Lauri Laasi. PHOTO: Liis Treimann

The conviction of Center Party members Priit Toobal and Lauri Laasi who were found guilty of several criminal offenses in lower level courts became final by Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court.

The top court's criminal chamber found that Toobal and Laasi are guilty of instigating Ivor Onksion to unauthorized surveillance and that Toobal and the Center Party as a legal person are guilty of document falsification. Toobal and Lauri were acquitted of violating confidentiality of messages.

The court deemed proven that it was Toobal and Laasi who instigated Onksion to use accidentally obtained access to another person's e-mailbox for systematic gathering of information about the messages contained therein. At the request of the Centrist politicians Onksion printed out 455 pages of letters and forwarded the printouts to Laasi and Toobal.

The top court took the view that the crime which Toobal and Laasi induced Onksion to commit has all the elements of unauthorized surveillance but is not punishable as violation of the confidentiality of messages because the messages Onksion studied and printed out had already reached the recipient.

The Supreme Court left unchanged the punishments meted out to Toobal, Laasi and Onksion by lower level courts.

The criminal chamber also found that the lower level courts had correctly established that Toobal forged five Center Party income statements to enable the party use cash from unknown sources.

The first-tier Harju County Court in October last year found that the guilt of Toobal and Laasi of instigation to unauthorized surveillance and violation of confidentiality of messages, as well as the guilt of Toobal of counterfeiting a document, had been proven. In addition, the court found that the guilt of the Center Party as a legal person as well as the guilt of Onksion of unauthorized surveillance and violation of confidentiality of messages had been proven.

Laasi received a suspended sentence of one month with three years' probation and Toobal a suspended sentence of one year with a probation of three years. The Center Party would have to pay 10,000 euros in addition to procedure expenses.