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Russian Investigative Committee declines to reveal anti-Kross evidence

Eerik-Niiles Kross. PHOTO: Peeter Langovits / Postimees

The Investigative Committee of Russian Federation has announced, in a letter sent to Postimees, that it does not consider it possible to answer questions posed by the newspaper regarding the criminal case of seajacking cargo ship Arctic Sea, in connection to which Russia is searching, via Interpol, for Eerik-Niiles Kross, adviser to Estonian defence minister.

«Considering the requirements of the procedural code, it is not possible right now to forward the information you are interested in,» announced Svetlana Petrenko, a colonel (polkovnik) of justice and deputy head of the committee’s communication department.

At that, the colonel referred to section 161 of Russian criminal procedure code, which forbids preliminary investigation data except as authorised by the officials in charge of the investigation, provided that certain conditions are met.

Among other things, Postimees asked Russian Investigative Committee on what evidence they base the accusation of Mr Kross in organising the seajacking of Arctic Sea. 

Since summer of 2012, Russia is seeking to search for Mr Kross via Interpol; this October 18th, Interpol published an international search announcement regarding the man. In Estonia, it became known the day before local elections, Mr Kross running for Mayor of Tallinn in IRL ranks.

Earlier, it has publicly been confirmed by Estonian prosecutor’s office that they do not possess sufficient evidence to suspect Mr Kross as related to the seajacking. 

Asked by Postimees, after the local elections, if he had a version of his own on who and why seajacked Arctic Sea, Mr Kross said he did not.

«All these versions are equally credible and incredible,» said the man. «It would have no value at all, me adding some other version to it. I haven’t the slightest idea.»

Dry cargo vessel Arctic Sea manned by a crew composed of Russians was seajacked, on the Baltic Sea, in the summer of 2009. Later, Russian marines apprehended the vessel on the Atlantic Ocean and delivered the crew. Turns out, several of those performing the seajacking were citizens of Estonia; even so, the background of and reasons for the incident still remain a confused issue in the international media, spawning wild varieties of speculations.