Parties looking to clip prosecution’s wings

PHOTO: WRAS / Caters News Agency / Scanpix

The Riigikogu has entered into proceedings draft legislation to limit the prosecution’s power of decision and lay down concrete deadlines in criminal procedure.

“The idea is to introduce fixed deadlines for preliminary investigation that criminal procedure currently lacks,” said MP Igor Gräzin (Reform Party) when submitting the bill.

Current legislation states that preliminary investigation must take place inside a sensible timeframe. The bill would introduce a fixed period of three to five months. Prosecutors could extend the deadline by another three to five months after which permission of the court would be required for any further extension. Case files would have to be sent to court or the person released after one year.

Prosecutor General Lavly Perling said the prosecution does not support additional time-limits on proceedings without a look at the bigger picture. She added that time-limits on proceedings are already among the best in Europe in Estonia.

Draft legislation was submitted by Igor Gräzin, Toomas Vitsut (Center), Valdo Randpere (Reform), Artur Talvik (Free Party), Peeter Ernits (Center), Liisa Oviir (SDE), Martin Helme (EKRE), and Henn Põlluaas (EKRE).