16 November 2020 – Today, Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop met with representatives of organisations representing the relatives of the victims of the MS Estonia disaster. The objective of this second meeting was to inform them of the preparations being made by the Government Office to conduct additional investigations regarding MS Estonia and to listen to their questions and proposals.
The Secretary of State confirmed that the state wishes to complete these preparations as quickly as possible, but noted the need to take time for thorough preparations. “We must thoroughly prepare for the investigation. In order to guarantee transparency and trustworthiness of the investigation, we wish to involve Estonian researchers, academics, and relatives of the victims in these preparations,” the Secretary of State said. Peterkop noted that cooperation with Finland and Sweden is extremely important for Estonia to solve the legal issues of investigating the wreck site.
At the meeting, questions were raised about the previous investigations into the sinking of MS Estonia. The Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop stressed that the mandate to prepare for investigating the new circumstances was given to the Government Office by the decision of the Government of 6 October, and the focus of this new investigation is to explore the damage that had previously been undocumented. “According to the decision of the Government, we should investigate the sea bottom around the shipwreck and the position of the wreck and identify the damage to the hull, the nature of the damage, its possible connection with drowning, and establish a timeframe,” Peterkop said. “We wish to consider the expectations of relatives and their need to get closure on the issue that has been pending for 26 years,” he added.