The Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed the responsibility of the authorities concerning Danske Bank money laundering case. The Committee found that the Riigikogu has to deal with the issue more thoroughly. The Committee will also help prepare the amendment to prevent money laundering more effectively.
“The Legal Affairs Committee expects all factions of political parties in the parliament to submit by 12 September their position on whether to establish a Riigikogu committee of investigation to deal with the money laundering case, or to form a working group at the Legal Affairs Committee that would investigate this problem in depth,” Chairman of the Committee Jaanus Karilaid said.
Karilaid added that another proposal of the Committee concerned the obligation to prove the origin of the money. “At present, the state has to prove the illegal origin of money, but in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Affairs Committee is studying the possibility to change the legal order so that in the future the owner of the money or the conductor of the transaction has to prove the legality of the money,” Karilaid explained.
In the opinion of member of the Legal Affairs Committee Külliki Kübarsepp, there is no need to establish a separate committee of investigation. “In the money laundering issue, a committee of investigation would not have access to more information than the Legal Affairs Committee does now. But establishing of a new committee would require additional resources, which is not reasonable essentially half a year before the parliamentary elections,” Kübarsepp said. “The Riigikogu already has two study committees that have problems with showing results.” Kübarsepp thinks that forming a working group at the Legal Affairs Committee should be preferred.
Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu, who attended the sitting of the Legal Affairs Committee, said that establishing of a committee of investigation might still be necessary in order to ascertain the reasons why Estonia had become an attractive country for conducting large-scale money laundering.
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