Court calls for expert who examined Savisaar's health to give evidence

The lawyer representing Edgar Savisaar, suspended mayor of Tallinn and former chairman of the Estonian Center Party, at the opening sitting of the trial in Monday filed an application for partial termination of the court case and wishes to question the experts who carried out a medical examination of Savisaar.

The court agreed to summon the chairman of the expert committee, who is scheduled to arrive in court at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The lawyer, Oliver Naas, said that the case against Savisaar with regard to money laundering should be terminated due to the passing of reasonable handling time.

Naas' second application concerns the medical examination of Savisaar. Namely, the defense found that the recommendations made to Savisaar in the conclusions of the examination, which would allow him to participate in the sittings, are unfounded. The experts have suggested that Savisaar should take medication, but have not been specific about what medications will help improve Savisaar's health condition enough to participate in long sittings.

"I am no doctor, but Savisaar's health does not enable him to participate in long court sittings," Naas said.

The lawyer also said that it is incomprehensible what the experts' claim to the effect that "Savisaar can be questioned during a short period of time" means, as it has not been explained which specific period of time the experts had in mind.

This is why Naas wishes to question the medical experts in court.

Lead public prosecutor Steven-Hristo Evestus said that uncertainties regarding the examination act should indeed be eliminated. "I agree that the stance of the expert has left some questions in the air," Evestus said, adding that the expert should be questioned before the opening speech of the prosecutor.

Evestus did not agree to partly terminating the case.

The court agreed that the chairman of the expert committee must be summoned and declared an intermission to do so. As for the application to partly terminate the case, the court noted that they cannot form an opinion regarding that at the opening sitting but can do so during the process.

The fact that Savisaar must stand trial was finally established at the beginning of June, when a forensic medical committee determined that the suspended mayor is able to attend the hearings of the graft case and bear liability in spite of his medical condition.

The Office of the Prosecutor General has brought charges against Savisaar for accepting bribes, money laundering, embezzlement, and accepting prohibited donation for the Center Party. The same charges have been lodged against Alexander Kofkin, Vello Kunman, Villu Reiljan, Hillar Teder, Kalev Kallo, Aivar Tuulberg, Priit Kutser and the Center Party.