Prosecutor demands 16-year imprisonment in Russia for Estonian security official

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Photo: Liis Treimann / Postimees

Prosecutors demand a 16-year prison sentence for the Estonian security official Eston Kohver charged with spying by Russian authorities.

The Pskov regional court that completed hearings in the case on Friday will pronounce the verdict on Aug. 19.

The prosecutor said during summations on Friday that Kohver's guilt as charged has been proven and the court should sentence him to 16 years' imprisonment in a high security prison and that he should serve the whole sentence in Russia. In addition, the prosecutor demanded a fine of 200,000 rubles or approximately 2,860 euros.

Kohver denied his guilt in his closing speech, his Russia-appointed attorney Yevgeny Aksyonov told BNS adding that he too sought to refute the charges brought against his client. «Depending on the verdict, we'll decide whether and to what extent we shall contest it,» he said.

The trial that started at the end of July was held behind closed doors.

The Estonian security official stood trial on charges of espionage, possession and smuggling of a firearm, and nine counts of illegal border crossing.

The Estonian Internal Security Service said on Sept. 5, 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 security agent, 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.

Kohver was held in the Lefortovo prison of Moscow until his transfer to Pskov for the trial.