When you are a foreigner in an unknown country, things can get interesting. And things have certainly been interesting for the thousands of brave souls who have left their “isamaa” to move to places like London or New York or even neighboring Finland.
Three recent cases showcase the interesting scenarios. One involves a young woman in Finland who is at the center of a political scandal involving the former party secretary of the right-wing Kokoomus party.
Harri Jaskari [pictured] recently stepped down amidst allegations that he was involved in violent behavior against a former Estonian girlfriend and perhaps acted as a “pimp,” whereby she assumed the position of “ho.”
The whole thing is so messy I feel guilty dragging you into it, dear readers:
[Jaskari] also gave a detailed account of his relationship with the Estonian woman who accuses him of violence and pimping.
The two had met in Tallinn in the spring of 2003. The relationship ended in early 2005, but the woman had left some of per property in Jaskari’s Helsinki apartment. Jaskari says that early this year the woman “showed up again”, and he gave her the key to the apartment so that she might move her things out.
In August Jaskari was contacted by police who told him that the woman was accusing him of violent behaviour, and that the police suspected her of selling sex, using their former home as a base. If Jaskari allowed her to use his apartment for such activities, it could be seen as a form of procurement.
Suspicions of physical violence concerned the time that Jaskari and the woman were together. He says that he had defended himself “in a few situations”, but would not go into detail about any actual events.
OK, that sort of made sense. But then the Estonian woman started changing her story:
A former Estonian woman friend of Harri Jaskari, who last week stepped down as party secretary of the National Coalition, was quoted as saying by Estonian daily Eesti päevalehti on Tuesday that the day after reporting Mr Jaskari to the police she had withdrawn her accusation that Mr Jaskari had procured women.
But the woman, identified only by a Christian name, continues to charge Mr Jaskari with assault.
“He throttled and beat me and chased me with a knife. The police often came round to our place because of it,” she told the paper.
“He is a pathologically jealous man.”
Maybe he is, may he isn’t. I have a feeling this is a toxic break-up being played out in the public eye. The details all seem a bit fuzzy to me.
Anyway, “Eva Roosmaa” – as she is identified in the Finnish press – isn’t the only at the center of an interesting situation. Here’s another young Estonian drawing attention to himself.
ESTONIAN MAVERICK TAKES THE U.K. POKER OPEN
Just over a hundred players entered for this year’s U.K. Poker Open, sponsored by 888.com – Pacific Poker with a prize pool of almost GBP 300 000.
The grand prize of $134 000 was taken by Talinn, Estonia player Marek Kolk aka “The Maverick,” who has previously been “in the money” at a number of major world tournaments including the last WSOP.
It was a tough tournament – Kolk had to defeat a final table that included five other professional players of the calibre of Roland De Wolfe, Theo Dalton, Dave Clayton and Simon Zack, as well as online qualifier Alan Parkinson. Other notable players who competed include England rugby stars Matt Dawson and Austin Healy, Graeme Dott, Ray Parlour, and Eastenders star Billy Murray.
Finally, and this is my favorite case, Estonian Olympian Kaido Kreen was recently sentenced to three years in prison for stealing mobile phone parts from Nokia. He’s the gentleman to the left in the picture on your right. Luckily, no mobile phone parts fell out of his pocket during the game.
Kaido Kreen was a member of the Estonian beach volleyball team who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Beside the 41-year-old Kreen, the court in Vantaa in the Helsinki metropolitan area handed down jail sentences to two more Estonians for the same offense, STT news agency said. Kaido Tamme, 36, has to spend two years in prison, while the third man whose name was not disclosed got one year.
According to the sentence, Kreen stole more than 600,000 euros’ worth of mobile telephone components from the plant in Salo between 2004-2005. Tamme and the third individual took the stolen components from the plant to Estonia. The court did not bring charges against the five other defendants.
How do you steal 600,000 euros worth of telephone components? How is that possible? I have to hand it to Kreen, he may be a criminal. He may be devious. But he must have some kind of skill set to rip Nokia off that bad. I have images of him loading up his car with spare batteries and next-generation Nokia telephone faces. But I am sure he devised a much more ingenious scheme involving espionage tactics and underground tunnels.
Someone should collect these modern day Estonian folk tales. I think younger generations will treasure them someday.