Ratas testifying at former minister’s trial hinges on defense tactics | New
According to Reps, decisions about who will appear in the witness box during the trial depend on the tactics adopted by his legal defense team.
After hearing the testimonies of witnesses called by the prosecution, the trial continued on Friday, with witnesses called to the stand by the defense team of Mailis Reps, starting with the former head of communications at the ministry of Education and Research, Tarmu Kurm.
Speaking about the trial on Friday, the representatives shed some light on who the defense plans to call as witnesses.
During preliminary hearings, defense attorneys for the representatives said they planned to call up to 59 people in court as witnesses. These include Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise and State Secretary Taimar Peterkop, as well as key figures from the previous government Jüri Ratas, Mart Helme (EKRE) and current Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) .
“From a legal standpoint, aside from the political scandal, there are two sides to this,” Reps said. “On the one hand, there is the purely personal side, including children and education. And on the other, there is work. As I have been a politician for more than 20 years, politicians can also serve of witnesses.”
Asked by ERR whether Center Party leader Jüri Ratas would be among the politicians called, Reps said: “We have named many politicians in the list of potential witnesses. However, who we call and don’t call is always a matter of defensive tactics. »
Representatives added that the trial had an effect on her children, who, due to the high-profile nature of the proceedings, are clearly identifiable.
“When your life is discussed, and, in the case of my children, every detail is clearly focused, in fact, the children feel quite affected (by this),” Reps said.
The trial of the representatives began on February 7 this year. Reps is charged under two sections of the criminal code, referring to embezzlement and fraud.
The first charge relates to the use of a ministry car and its fuel for unofficial purposes, including school operations, and to host and hold a birthday party using funds and facilities. of the ministry.
The second charge relates to the use of a departmental coffee machine that officials allegedly took home, the US travel expenses noted above, other birthday party expenses at a restaurant, and expenses related to participating in the first ever full WRC rally in Estonia, in the summer of 2020.
The trial is expected to continue until 2023.