Court running out of patience regarding Tõnis Haavel

Kadri Hansalu
, business journalist
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Photo: Peeter Langovits

Convicted in aiding investment fraud, Tõnis Haavel failed to show up at Harju County Court for the sixth time yesterday to discuss the list of his assets and liabilities. 

Namely, bailiff Elin Vilippus is seeking obligating Tõnis Haavel to present a list of assets and liabilities, and confirm the list under an oath; and, if necessary, for Tõnis Haavel to undergo compelled attendance and arrest.

At the end of last year, the court told Postimees that compelled attendance or arrest cannot be applied before they have succeeded in getting an invitation with warning to the debtor. Till today they have failed at that, though the police has been seeking for Mr Haavel even at an economic conference.

Asked by Postimees how long this cat-and-mouse might continue, assistant bailiff Viljo Konsap said the court would do a few more attempts to deliver the summons.

«Should these attempts also fail, the court will decide whether to continue the proceeding and apply compelled attendance, or to drop the procedure due to failure to deliver the summons,» said Mr Konsap.

The question arises: how would they catch Mr for the compelled attendance if they have failed to even deliver the summons. According to business daily Äripäev, judge Moonika Tähtväli said as they waited for Mr Haavel at the courthouse yesterday that the man has told the court he lives in Latvia. But even at the Latvian address they have failed to get to him for three-four times. Äripäev wrote an option would be forwarding the dispute to Latvian colleagues who could hunt for the man there, or else obligate his representative Jüri Leppik to forward his client the summons.

But what would dropping the proceedings mean? Mr Konsap said Mr Haavel would not escape the financial obligations. «The court ruling which ordered these to be paid will remain in force. Also, the bailiff will continue the execution proceeding to recover the debt,» explained Mr Konsap.

He explained that the civil dispute which has encountered the delay at court id about application by bailiff to obligate the debtor to present list of assets and liabilities and confirm it under oath, and for arrest to be applied if necessary.

«In practice, bailiffs and trustees in bankruptcy use the measure in order to obtain information as precise as possible from debtor regarding his assets and liabilities,» said Mr Konsap. The info helps bailiff and creditors with insight into perspectives of being paid and option to file bankruptcy application regarding the debtor.

The oath would discipline the debtor to tell the truth as for intentionally giving false data he might be criminally punished.

The next court session was set for March 15th 2016 at 9:30 am.

By district court, Tõnis Haavel convicted as accessory to fraud in the Baku investment affair with seven months imprisonment on condition with three years of probation. On top of that, a giant claim remains in force regarding the convicted. Pursuant to the ruling, Erki Piirsalu, Tõnis Haavel, Harles Liiv and GFAS must compensate the investors with about €7m.

Originally, Harju County Court was supposed to deliberate settlement of damages by Mr Haavel at end of April last year.