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Center appoints Toobal to party finance watchdog

Priit Toobal PHOTO: Arno Saar / Õhtuleht

The opposition Center Party has appointed Priit Toobal, secretary general of the party, as its representative in the Supervisory Committee on Party Financing.

The Center Party has appointed Priit Toobal its representatives in the committee. Tonis Molder, who used to represent the party in the committee until now, will become substitute member of the committee, spokespeople for the biggest Estonian opposition party said on Tuesday.

The Supervisory Committee on Party Financing consists of two members appointed respectively by the chancellor of justice and the auditor general, plus one member appointed by each of the parties represented in the parliament who is not a member of the Riigikogu or the government.

The term in office of a member of the the Supervisory Committee on Party Financing lasts five years.

The criminal chamber of the Supreme Court on Nov. 20 last year upheld guilty sentences for Toobal and another Centrist politician, Lauri Laasi, for inciting a third person to unauthorized surveillance but acquitted them of violating the confidentiality of messages. The top court also found Toobal and the Center Party as a legal person guilty of document forgery.

The top court's criminal chamber found that it was adequately proved that Toobal and Laasi induced Ivor Onksion to use accidentally obtained access to the e-mailbox of another person to systematically collect information from the e-mails contained therein. At the request of the Centrist politicians Onksion printed out 455 pages of messages and forwarded the printouts to Laasi and Toobal.

The Supreme Court at the same time acquitted the men of breaching the confidentiality of messages. According to the penal code, violation of the confidentiality of messages takes place when a message communicated by a letter or other means is disclosed at the time of communication. Onksion was accessing and recording messages that had already reached the recipient.

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 to use cash from unknown sources.

The Supreme Court left unchanged the punishments meted out to Toobal, Laasi and Onksion by lower level courts. Laasi received a suspended sentence of nine months with three years' probation and Toobal a suspended sentence of one year with three years on probation. The Center Party had to pay a fine of 10,000 euros in addition to procedure expenses.

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