11:58 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas announced on Wednesday he was resigning in the wake of a corruption scandal around Tallinn's real estate development, the state-run Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) reported.

    The PM stressed that the suspicions lodged by the Office of the Prosecutor General "do not mean that someone is definitely guilty", but have a serious impact, casting a shadow on the reputation of all the parties involved.

    "In such a situation, giving, through my resignation, a possibility to shed light on all circumstances and achieve clarity seems the only right thing to do", Ratas told reporters, as quoted by ERR.
    Town Hall Square in Tallinn. (File)
    © Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya
    Town Hall Square in Tallinn. (File)

    The outgoing prime minister stressed that despite taking political responsibility for the loan scandal, he was not fully informed about all the details.

    "I can say with full peace of mind that as the prime minister, I have not made a single malevolent or knowingly wrong decision. As of today, I have communicated with both the prosecutor general and the ISS [Internal Security Service], who both affirmed that they have no suspicions with regard to myself. As the head of government, I did not feel in the Porto Franco case either that some minister or political party had tried to influence the decisions made by the government in an unlawful direction", he noted.

    Earlier this week, Estonia's public prosecutor's office said it suspected the Centre Party (which Ratas chairs) and five individuals of being involved in a corruption case: the party allegedly received financial support in return for approving a 39 million euros ($47.6 million) loan that Estonia's state credit agency KredEx provided to the Porto Franco real estate development.

    Tags:
    corruption probe, Corruption, Juri Ratas, Estonia, Estonia
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