Reiljan found guilty of taking a bribe (3)
Eestlased Eestis 31 May 2010 EL (Estonian Life)EWR
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Estonia’s former minister of the environment Villu Reiljan was found guilty last week of taking bribes related to the sale of the Ministry of the Environment’s former building on Rävala Puiestee. Still a member of the Riigikogu, Reiljan insists that he is not guilty

"I have not asked the money, I have not asked anybody else to ask the money, I have not received authorization or anything else and that's it," said the highest-ranking politician convicted of receiving bribes in Estonia, as told the newspaper Äripäev last week, according to the Baltic Business News.

"Seeing what is going on in Estonian courts, I am not surprised at anything," said Reiljan, according to BBN, adding: "If the courts wish to convict anyone in Estonia, it will happen. It is not the question about evidence; you don't need any evidence to do that. If they want, they will convict you and vice versa."

Reiljan was sentenced to two years and three months of imprisonment. Estonia’s peculiar legal system may mean that the former minister might not serve any time; often sentences are conditional on what is termed good behaviour. Reiljan will, however, according to the constitution, be forced to leave Estonia’s parliament once the sentence becomes official. Reiljan was also fined 6225 kroons, a pittance for a long-time politician often rumoured over the years to be involved with dubious transactions.
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