According to Mr Kondaurov, not even in KGB era did he ever hear of anything like Soviet or Russian special services kidnapping a special forces worker of another country from foreign territory. Agents? Yes. But not employees as such, he shakes his head.
Again, he underlines this is in case the Estonian version holds true. «I count this totally illegal if FSB is already venturing on other state territory,» he says. «Depending on whose territory Mr Kohver was apprehended, this is two totally different cases.»
Why Mr Kohver got in the way of FSB, Mr Kondaurov may only guess. «Supposing Mr Kohver was into recruiting, as FSB seems to think, then probably he had his agents on the Russian side and probably FSB learned about his network of agents and therefore he got dealt with by FSB,» says the man with 12 years of Soviet-time anti-terrorist combat experience.
Mr Kondaurov says now that Mr Kohver is in his third week sitting in the Lefortovo prison in Moscow, in FSB hands, his fate is hard to alter. «Clearly, he will be judged and he will be found guilty,» he observes.
While working at KGB, and later in the public relations centre at the security ministry, Mr Kondaurov was able to look into many a top-important file. «I may assure you that back then the KGB investigated very much like a jeweller and all accusations were well proven and founded. Regrettably, I can’t say anything regarding the current quality of investigations at FSB,» he says.
The case of security police officer Eston Kohver
• As announced by Security Police of Estonia, at 9 am unknown individuals entering from Russia, on Estonian territory near Luhamaa border point, apprehended a security police officer on duty and by physical force, at gunpoint, took him into Russia.
• In the evening of the same day, FSB announced it had apprehended, during an operation in Pskov Oblast, an Estonian security police employee Eston Kohver from whom they confiscated a Taurus pistol, €5,000, secret audio recording devices and special equipment.
• Estonian foreign ministry summoned Russian ambassador in Estonia Juri Merzljakov.
• To investigate the case, Estonian Internal Security Service initiated criminal proceedings based on Penal Code clauses on illegal deprivation of liberty by force and unlawful crossing of Estonian state border and temporary boundary line.
• Moscow Lefortovo district court ruled to arrest Eston Kohver for two months as suspected in espionage. By Russia, the lawyer Yevgeni Aksyonov was appointed as defence attorney to Mr Kohver.