Center Party to contest decision of party financing watchdog ERJK in court

Center Party logo.

PHOTO: Tairo Lutter

Senior coalition partner Center Party says the €1.27 million injunction made by the Party Financing Monitoring Committee (ERJK) is based on false claims by former Center campaign master Paavo Pettai; the party's secretary general Mikhail Korb said Center intends to contest the decision in court.

Korb said that the injunction, according to which Center must pay Pettai's company Midfield OÜ over €1.2 million for alleged services provided years ago, is not valid, and the party will contest it in court, spokespeople for the Center Party said.

Korb said there are no contracts, invoices or any other proof to indicate that Midfield OÜ provided €1.27 million worth of services to the party in 2009-2015, which matter has been repeatedly proven to ERJK. 

“On the contrary, from 2009 to 2016, we have paid Midfield €2,253,424.98. This excludes the decision by the court of arbitration pursuant to which Pettai was paid €533,000. We have paid for all our services and more,” Korb said. 

Korb added that the expert, whom the committee included in the assessment and whose counsel the decision was based on, was unable to prove the validity of his conclusions, nor did they involve the party in the procedure as a result of which the committee has broken the law, according to Center Party's lawyers.

Korb said that considering the numerous inconsistencies and the fact that Pettai has not filed a claim with the court regarding the matter as pursuant to the law, as well as that potential claims would have expired by now, the decision of ERJK is incomprehensible. 

“It is not plausible that if such a large amount of money were owed to Pettai, Midfield would not file a claim to the court in order to reclaim the debt. The businessman, however, has turned to ERJK where politicians have made a regrettable decision prior to elections, despite obvious inconsistencies. I am completely convinced the court will refute ERJK's and Pettai's arguments,” Korb said.