Johanna-Maria Lehtme, who was recalled from the management board of the NGO Slava Ukraini in connection with criminal proceedings launched to investigate the use of funds collected by the NGO, is leaving her seat as member of the Estonian parliament.
«This is my personal decision. As a member of the Riigikogu, I would continue to be under increased public attention, which would not allow the truth to be established or ensure a fair investigation. I also want to save the party, which has come under undeserved public pressure,» Lehtme said.
She did not want to give an assessment of the allegations against her, but still confirmed that she will provide her own exhaustive answers in the proceedings initiated by law enforcement authorities.
Johanna-Maria Lehtme is not a member of the political party Estonia 200 and her seat in parliament will be taken up by Zuleyxa Izmailova.
The Office of the Prosecutor General of Estonia on May 9 launched criminal proceedings pursuant to the section of the Penal Code dealing with embezzlement to investigate the use of funds collected by the NGO Slava Ukraini for supporting Ukraine. The supervisory board of Slava Ukraini decided on the same day to recall Johanna-Maria Lehtme from the management board for the duration of the investigation.