Sangaste Castle is up for auction with an opening price of €2.6 million | News
The reason for selling is due to accumulated debts. Ownership ended up in private hands and away from municipal control during and after the course of Estonia’s local government reforms in 2017.
In August 2021, the Public Prosecutor’s Office charged former Otepää Mayor Kaido Tamberg (SDE) and Deputy Mayor Kajar Lipik with misuse of municipal property, including Sangasti Castle (Sangaste Fortress), a former 19th-century country house about 25 km away. kilometers southwest of Otepää, Valga County. .
In August this year, the Tartu Circuit Court of Second Instance sentenced Tamberg and Liebeck to 30 days in prison (technically referred to as “shock imprisonment – “Šokivangistus” – ed.), while the couple also must pay €62,225.92 in damages to the Otepää Municipality. Rural, regional daily newspaper Lõuna-Eesti Postimees (link in Estonian).
Otepää council deputy Kuldar Veere (Reform) in January 2020, when Tamberg and Lebek were first arrested on suspicion of corruption, told ERR (link in Estonian) that regarding the ownership status of the castle, there was a joint venture agreed between the municipality, as the majority owner and businessman Heikki Moltsar, whose companies will manage the property jointly with the municipality.
“Then, time passed, and the next deal involved the Sanghasti municipality’s decision to relinquish its involvement to an NGO,” Phiri said. “No money was received for this, even though an illegally long repayment period of five years was applied. First, it was The intention is for the municipality to acquire the assets of this NGO, when this previously existing NGO has been dissolved.”
“Also, the legal provision was also changed based on Tamberg’s proposal so that the NGO’s property was distributed according to the decision of a general meeting. Through this decision, the municipality no longer had a majority of votes, but became one of five shareholders. All the other (shareholders) were companies In sum, the situation is that the municipality is without the castle and its participation (in the management of the castle), while if we take a look at who are the real beneficiaries of the cult they are in fact the natural persons (specific legal term – editor) Heikki Moltsar, in addition to his wife Annabelle Moltsar.
Heikki Moltsar is Kaido Tamberg’s cousin, ERR reports.
Located on a 16,229 square meter plot of land registered for use as commercial land, Sangasti Fort has 16 rooms and can cater for events of up to 150 guests, ERR reports.
Tartu Sheriff Oksana Kutšmei is putting the property up for public bidding at the Auction Center (Oksjonikeskus.ee) with a starting price of €2.6 million as stated.
Registration for this auction opened on Monday, September 18, and will remain open until the end of October.
The auction itself begins on October 31 and runs until November 7, and is held online.
Sangaste formerly belonged to the municipality of the same name; The 2017 municipal reforms, which reduced the number of rural municipalities and towns in Estonia from over 200 to the current 79, resulted in the former Sangaste municipality being annexed to Otepää Rural Municipality.
During this time, ownership, via a complex scheme perhaps as described above by Kuldar Veere, came into private hands.
Completed in 1881, Sangaste Castle (pictured) was designed by Baltic German architect Otto Pius Hippius and is famous for its red brick and synthesis of more than one architectural style, including Gothic. The building was used as a pioneer camp during the Soviet period. In 2000, the state handed over the property to the then municipality of Sangaste.
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(Marks for translation) Loss of Sanghasti (t.) Public Prosecutor