Russian court extends custody of detained Estonian security official

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A court in Moscow on Friday extended the custody of detained Estonian Internal Security Service official Eston Kohver until early January.

Yevgeny Aksyonov, the Russia-appointed defense lawyer for Kohver, told BNS the period of detention was extended until Jan. 5 in connection with the need to conduct proceedings.

On Monday, a Russian investigator presented to Kohver in the presence of Aksyonov a decision about expert analyses to be conducted in the case.

«The investigator presented decisions on carrying out expert analyses concerning what was confiscated from Kohver when he was detained -- the weapons, meaning a pistol, and special technical equipment,» Aksyonov told BNS. «The investigator asked questions and I said my remarks concerning these, after having previously discussed these with Kohver,» he added.

According to Aksyonov the expert analysis is not difficult from the technical point of view and how quickly it will be carried out depends on the workload of experts.

When asked on which side of the border Kohver was on Sept. 5 when he was detained, Aksyonov said: «Both sides have clarity in that issue. But if the Estonian Internal Security Service does not submit evidence to the investigation regarding who was where, it can be presumed that there are some problems concerning the issue. But the Russian investigator has promised -- for now in words only -- to submit at some point all data from sensors.»

Kohver's lawyer expects the investigator to prepare materials by the beginning of December to present to the prosecution and later to the court.

According to Aksyonov, Kohver's physical and mental state is generally satisfactory. At the beginning of October an investigator of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agreed to let a doctor sent from Estonia check Kohver but the meeting has not taken place yet.

The lawyer said that on Monday he forwarded to Kohver his glasses, clothes from home and Estonian magazines as well as photographs of his family sent to him by the consul.

«Kohver's request to speak to his family by telephone this week has also been granted,» Aksyonov said and added that there is also no opposition to him meeting with his family but at present it has not happened due to financial problems. «We discussed this option with Mr. Kohver but he confessed that because he has small children his wife can't afford a trip to Moscow,» Aksyonov said.