On April 14, the Harju County Court fined Eesti Ekspress journalists Sulev Vedler, Tarmo Vahter and AS Ekspress Meedia EUR 1,000 each for disclosing information in an article dated March 25 that the former board of Swedbank had been suspected of money laundering. The prosecutor’s office had not previously shared this information with the public, and the prosecutor’s office was not informed of the article’s publication.
However, the district court overturned the county court’s order in the summer. At the beginning of September, the Supreme Court heard the appeal of the state prosecutor Sigrid Nurme against the judgment, which annulled the fining of Eesti Ekspress journalists. The state prosecutor requests the annulment of the June 14 order of the Tallinn District Court and the enforcement of the April 14 order of the Harju County Court.
Yesterday afternoon, the Supreme Court heard representatives of the State Prosecutor’s Office and newspaper Eesti Ekspress regarding the fining of Eesti Ekspress journalists. LEXTAL’s partner Oliver Nääs and attorney Sander Potisepp represent Eesti Ekspress in the case.
Oliver Nääs has commented that while the prosecutors could not describe in detail how the article harmed the investigation, it shows that for the prosecutor’s office, the case is more about the principle than a substantive problem.
Read more about the case (in Estonian) https://www.err.ee/1608820078/riigikohus-teeb-ajakirjanike-trahvimise-asjas-otsuse-koige-varem-jaanuaris