Aivar Pilv and Urmas Kõrgesaar achieved positive result in criminal case against Tartu Mill
Based on the 25.02.2019 court judgment, Tartu Circuit Court satisfied the appeals by the defenders of Leonid Dulub and Priit Saar, cancelling a previous judgment of the Tartu County Court that found the accused persons guilty in being members of a criminal organisation dealing with tax fraud. Their assets were also released from arrest and procedural costs ordered to be covered by the state.
In the appellation proceeding, Leonid Dulub was defended by LEADELL Pilv associates Aivar Pilv and Urmas Kõrgesaar (together with attorney-at-law Kaspar Lind). As explained by Aivar Pilv, the circuit court agreed with the critics of the defense about the insufficient prosecution with regard to Art 255 (1) of the Estonian Penal Code. The court judgment established that in the current situation the prosecution was difficult to follow and understand, ignoring also the repeated requirements set by the Supreme Court for an indictment paper. The circuit court was of opinion that the features of an alleged criminal organisation were difficult to follow and their connection with the factual circumstances questionable. The court emphasised that the behaviour of Leonid Dulub which, according to the prosecution, was related to the activities of a criminal organisation, failed to comply with the features of a crime and excluded the criminal liability of the person with regard to being a member of a criminal organisation.
As a significant remark, the defenders Urmas Kõrgesaar and Aivar Pilv also underlined the conclusion of the circuit court stating that the previous negative decision regarding other accused persons based on the settlement procedure cannot automatically prove the existence of a criminal organisation but is subject to be proven by the prosecutor also in the general proceeding. In the opinion of Aivar Pilv, prosecution in the previous case law of Estonia regarding criminal organisations has been rather vague and declarative, proving the alleged existence of an organisation mainly through single crimes that have been committed.