Savisaar taken to hospital from court, hearing canceled

Suspended Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar (Center) was taken to the hospital after paramedics were called to Harju County Court on Wednesday morning to check on the defendant's condition during the third day of hearings in a large-scale graft case.

The hearing was cut short after Savisaar was declared unfit to attend and transported to the hospital. The trial is scheduled to continue on Aug. 8.

According to Savisaar's defense lawyer Oliver Nääs, Saviaar's heart rate ahead of Wednesday's hearing was 114 beats per minute and his blood pressure had been recorded at 165/98 that morning.

Peep Põdder, a prominent doctor known to be familiar with Savisaar's health condition who was present in the courtroom, advised the court to call an ambulance, which the court did.

Põdder, director of Jõgeva Hospital, came to court on Wednesday citing his great concern about Savisaar's health.

"Of course I came to court to observe the condition of Savisaar's health, but not on the recommendation made by the forensic doctor on Tuesday," Põdder told BNS as the hearing was about to begin.

The doctor said that considering Savisaar's health indicators on Wednesday morning, he would not have allowed the defendant to appear in court. "But Savisaar himself very much wanted to come," Põdder added.

Marika Väli, head of the expert committee that conducted a court-ordered medical examination of Savisaar who was summoned for questioning in court on Tuesday, said that should Savisaar feel tired during the session, it is indeed necessary to allow him a break. She said that Savisaar's questioning should take an hour maximum and should be followed by a 20-30 minute break. Väli also said that Savisaar would be able to endure court sittings by following a sustainable lifestyle, which consists of sufficient sleep, an appropriate diet as well as following the treatment plan prescribed by treating physicians.

The expert said that should Savisaar's health deteriorate, the court must be prepared to quickly call an ambulance and that it would not be a bad idea for there to be a doctor in the courtroom with the necessary skills to intervene should the patient's health worsen.

Savisaar declared fit to stand trial last week

The fact that Savisaar must stand trial was finally established at the beginning of June, when a four-member expert committee at the Estonian Forensic Science Institute determined that the suspended mayor is able to attend the hearings of the graft case and bear liability in spite of his medical condition.

On the first day of the trial on Monday, Nääs requested that Väli be summoned and questioned regarding exactly how many hours per day Savisaar could stand trial. "According to the [medical] report, the state of his health does not allow for him to have long days," he claimed.

Despite this concern, Savisaar was by noon already pictured on social media attending a festive Russia Day reception held at the Russian Embassy in Tallinn together with Center Party parliamentary group members Olga Ivanova and Oudekki Loone.

The Office of the Prosecutor General has brought charges against Savisaar for accepting bribes, money laundering, embezzlement, and accepting prohibited donation for the Center Party. The same charges have been lodged against Alexander Kofkin, Vello Kunman, Villu Reiljan, Hillar Teder, Kalev Kallo, Aivar Tuulberg, Priit Kutser and the Center Party.

Read other news on the city site of Tallinn.

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