Th, 1.06.2023
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Tartu deputy mayor leaves office

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Photo: Kristan Teedema

Kajar Lember, deputy mayor of Tartu who is suspected of repeated bribe-taking, resigned from the office of deputy mayor and from the supervisory boards of all companies connected with the city on Thursday.

Mayor Urmas Klaas, who talked with Lember over the phone on Wednesday, told BNS on Thursday they had agreed that it was better for the deputy mayor to leave immediately.

«He explained to me what the suspicion was about, including the episodes that are connected with his work in the city government, and denied them,» Klaas said. «What we have now is the suspicion and the words of Lember whereby he has denied them [suspicions]. The city government is cooperating fully with the prosecution authorities to ascertain the truth.»

The city government has also ordered its internal control department to look into the allegations.

The police on Tuesday detained Lember, deputy mayor of Tartu responsible for finance and enterprise, for alleged repeated bribe-taking. He is also being suspected of EU funding related fraud in the amount of more than 850,000 euros.

According to the suspicion, the deputy mayor acted not in the interest of the city but in his own interest and in the interest of the bribe-giver, who was also detained as suspect on Tuesday. As part of the same investigation premises of the Tartu city government were searched on Tuesday. Lember announced in the week before last that he will lay down his duties as deputy mayor.

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