Estonian police officer detained in Russia charged with espionage
MOSCOW, September 12 (RAPSI) – Eston Kohver, an officer of Estonia’s security police that oversees internal security and intelligence, has been charged with espionage, his lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, told RIA Novosti.
Kohver was detained in Russia a week ago for “intelligence gathering.” If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. His lawyer said they filed a motion with the Lefortovsky District Court on Thursday to extend the time to file a notice of appeal against Kohver’s arrest.
“The public defender who represented Kohver’s interests at the hearing has not done so,” Polozov said. He added that the defense team would also argue that the charges against Kohver were unlawful because he was abducted.
According to the Russian Federal Security Service’s (FSB) press office, Kohver was detained on September 5 in the Pskov Region, which borders Estonia, Latvia and Belarus. He allegedly had a Taurus gun, ammunition, EUR 5,000 and special equipment to carry out covert recording.
The FSB announced the disruption of an agent-recruitment operation of the Estonian Interior Ministry’s security police. On September 6, the Lefortovsky District Court in Moscow issued a two-month arrest warrant for Kohver.
Tallinn claims that Kohver was investigating cross-border crime when he was abducted at gunpoint from Estonian territory, near the Luhamaa checkpoint on the border with the Pskov Region, by Russians who detonated a smoke grenade and jammed radio communications.