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HomeEstoniaDaily: Finnish police remove Estonia's ex-PM Roivas from Tokyo-bound flight

Daily: Finnish police remove Estonia’s ex-PM Roivas from Tokyo-bound flight

Former Estonian prime minister Taavi Roivas was removed by the police from a plane about to take off for a flight to Tokyo at Helsinki airport for alleged drunkenness on Saturday, Postimees has learned.

According to the person who sent the tip-off, the incident took place on board the plane. There were two Tokyo-bound flights about to take off from Helsinki at about the same time on Saturday, both of which were carrying members of the delegations accompanying Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna on a visit to Japan. While the flight to Tokyo Narita airport, which was scheduled to depart at 5:45 p.m., departed at 5:40 p.m., the flight to Tokyo Haneda airport, which was due to depart at 5:55 p.m., did not depart until 6:25.

According to the eyewitness, Roivas initially had a dispute with the cabin crew. After some time, police officers arrived on the plane, taking Roivas with them. Postimees also talked to other people who were at the airport at the same time as the delegation, who described Roivas as as having been quite drunk already at Helsinki airport.

Liisa Toots, head of public relations at the Estonian Foreign Ministry, told Postimees the ministry was aware of the case, but did not know the exact reason for Roivas’ removal from the flight.

Toots said Roivas was not traveling with the minister’s official delegation and had a ticket to a different flight, but he had an encounter with members of the delegation at Helsinki airport.

Roivas did not answer calls from Postimees, but explained to online news site Elu24 that he had had a dispute with a flight attendant during the flight from Tallinn to Helsinki because he was using a laptop to do some work during the flight.

“Supposedly, that was the reason why I was not allowed on the flight to Japan. I filed an official complaint with Finnair along with a claim for damages,” he said.

According to Postimees’ source, however, Roivas was removed from the flight bound for Japan, which is confirmed by a photo obtained by Postimees. Therefore, it is unclear why Roivas was allowed on the Helsinki-Tokyo flight in the first place if the conflict arose during the Tallinn-Helsinki flight.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna on Sunday began a visit to Japan, where he is scheduled to meet with Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, Minister for Digital Transformation Taro Kono and representatives of the Japanese parliament. The minister and his official delegation are accompanied on the trip by an Estonian business delegation. Members of the business delegation cover their expenses related to the trip themselves.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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