Supreme Court final decision in favour of RASK clients in Pere AS nine-year criminal case
On 9 March, the nine-year criminal proceedings in the Pere AS insolvency case were concluded, with RASK attorneys successfully defending former members of the management bodies of Pere AS, Rein Kilk, Kaie Kilk and Neeme Raig, who were accused of causing the insolvency of Pere AS, and a member of the management board of Pere Pagar OÜ, Kristjan Oolo, who was accused of complicity.
More specifically, the Supreme Court rejected the appeals of the Prosecutor’s Office and the victim – their third appeals – thereby making a final decision to uphold the earlier acquittal of RASK’s clients on 3 September 2020. In that substantial decision, the Tallinn Circuit Court had agreed with the central argument put forward by RASK attorneys: an intra-group transaction cannot damage the parent company if the parent company’s assets do not decrease as a result of the transaction.
This case is significant in terms of both the precedent it set and the scale at which it unfolded. Receiving extensive attention from the media, the proceedings lasted for almost a decade, reaching the Supreme Court on three occasions.
“On the one hand, I am glad that the Estonian court procedure examines evidence and the act, and the courts do not allow themselves to be misled by public image and other external noise. This testifies to the quality of the court system,” said RASK partner Ramon Rask, commenting on the case. “However, it is sad that it took the state nine years to satisfy itself that there is no punishable act in this case.”
“The proceedings as a whole certainly highlight the real value of the presumption of innocence, and this should not be underestimated. Otherwise, a ‘posthumous acquittal’ after repeatedly going through the different court instances would not have the balancing force to restore a person’s sense of justice,” said Andrei Svištš, one of the attorneys-at-law in the court case.