Russian court finds violations in Estonian security agent's case

The case of the Estonian Internal Security Service official Eston Kohver was returned to the Russian prosecutor general's office in Moscow as the regional court in Pskov found violations in the case at the hearing that began on Monday.

The court decided to return the materials of the case to the prosecutor general's office to remove the violations that hinder substantive handling of the case, the Pskov court said.

The Pskov regional court extended the detention of Eston Kohver by four days, from Aug. 4 to Aug. 8.

Today, Pskov Oblast Court launched criminal process regarding Estonian security police officer Eston Kohver kidnapped from homeland.

Mr Kohver’s lawyer Yevgeni Aksyonov told Postimees at the beginning of the session,  the court will begin by prescribing procedures for the process. The lawyer thinks the process may take two weeks or so.

At the beginning of the session, journalists were allowed entry into the hall. Photographers were permitted to take general snapshots of the judge. Eston Kohver was escorted into the hall by four masked special forces cadre, not allowed to be photographed by the media.

The closed (in camera) process will take place under Judge Larissa Bobrova.

According to Postimees journalist present in Pskov, Eston Kohver was calm as the session commenced, not letting the surroundings disturb his composure. He only took one glance towards the journalists present.

Mr Kohver is being charged with espionage, violation of the state border and smuggling of a firearm.

Estonian Internal Security Service said on September 5th 2014 that a member of their staff had been deprived of his freedom on Estonian territory near the checkpoint of Luhamaa on the Estonian-Russian border and taken to Russia by unidentified individuals coming from Russia at 9 a.m. that morning. The official, who was performing official duties related to the prevention of cross-border crime, was taken to Russia at gunpoint using physical force. The abduction was preceded by interference of operational radio communication and use of a smoke grenade from the direction of Russia.