Search

 

Cablegate: Estonia: Doj Training for Prosecutors and Police

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0497/01 2111245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301245Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0040
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS TALLINN 000497

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
FOR EUR/NB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCRM EAID CJAN ECON EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA: DOJ TRAINING FOR PROSECUTORS AND POLICE

REF: TALLINN 435

1. (U) Summary. A Post and Department of Justice (DOJ)
organized workshop provided training for Estonian
prosecutors and law enforcement officials on June 13-15.
The training focused on public corruption, financial crime,
and asset forfeiture. Estonia is relatively advanced in
the region in tackling public corruption and financial
crime. The training was well-received by Estonian
participants who expressed interest in doing more
collaborative training of this kind with the USG. End
Summary.

Introduction
------------

2. (U) Post and the Department of Justice's Overseas
Prosecutorial Development and Assistance Training Division
(OPDAT) organized a three day training workshop for more
than thirty Estonian prosecutors and law enforcement
officers, June 13-15. The workshop's themes were public
corruption, financial crime, and asset forfeiture. U.S.
trainers and Estonian prosecutors provided presentations on
their respective programs and activities and participated
in several case studies. The Estonian Prosecutors Office
praised the training and expressed interest in additional
training collaboration between the U.S. and Estonia.

Public Corruption
-----------------

3. (U) During the workshop, the U.S. trainers were
impressed by Estonia's progress in combating public
corruption. Estonia's efforts, modeled on Finland and
Sweden, have included making politicians and GOE officials'
financial statements (e.g., tax returns) available to the
public. Since 1998, Estonia has risen from 26th to 17th on
Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index
(CPI). (Note: Latvia ranks 49th and Lithuania 46th on the
CPI. End Note.) However, Ministry of Justice (MOJ)
officials noted that a recent MOJ study found there is
still room for improvement in Estonia. The report
(discussed in more detail reftel) found that 3% of the
public had given a bribe in the last year. Among
entrepreneurs, 12% had given a bribe. However, Estonians
generally hold business and political leaders to a
relatively high standard.

Financial Crimes
----------------

4. (U) According to Estonia's Prosecutor's Office Act, the
Prosecutors Office participates in planning investigations
of financial crimes. As the lead agency in criminal
proceedings, Estonian prosecutors guide the preliminary
investigator in cooperation with Customs and Tax, Security
Police, Central Criminal Police, and other relevant
agencies. U.S. investigators work closely with the Central
Criminal Police (CCP) and the Prosecutor's Office on
financial crimes involving U.S. victims. The FBI has
worked several cases jointly with the Estonian police which
have resulted in multiple arrests in Estonia. In 2006,
there were two joint-cases with one case -- a cyber
financial crime racket -- leading to eleven arrests. This
case is now in the Estonian courts. (Note. According to
the FBI, the number of financial crimes involving the U.S.
is much lower in Estonia than in neighboring countries.
End Note.)

Asset Forfeiture
----------------

5. (U) The workshop's final subject dealt with asset
forfeiture, which is a relatively new concept for Estonian
prosecutors and law enforcement. Asset forfeiture
legislation was recently adopted into Estonian law after
lengthy debate on its constitutionality. Due to historical
sensitivities during Soviet occupation when property and
assets were seized, the GOE has moved very cautiously in
this area. For example, there has been no discussion or
debate in GOE fora on whether or not to use seized assets
to augment funding for law enforcement programs. However,
GOE interlocutors informed us that they plan to utilize
asset forfeiture in combating organized crime, principally
in seizing property that was bought with laundered money or
used for criminal activity.

6. (U) Comment. In a post-workshop briefing on June 19
with the Estonian Prosecutors Office, the Estonians told us
that the officials who participated in the workshop found
the training interesting and useful. They also recommended
that future workshops include even more actual case
studies. As Estonians are by nature reserved, (especially
when speaking a foreign language), case studies are
particularly useful in encouraging active participation.

PHILLIPS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>