Conviction of Estonian security official takes effect in Russia

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Photo: Liis Treimann

The conviction of Eston Kohver, the Estonian security police officer who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Russia on Aug. 19, stepped into force, the Pskov regional court reports on its home page.

According to the court's announcement Kohver did not appeal the court's decision and as on Friday the conviction stepped into force. Kohver had until Thursday to appeal the decision.

A court in the Russian northwestern regional capital Pskov on Aug. 19 sentenced Kohver to 15 years in jail and fined him 100,000 roubles (EUR 1,375). The court found Kohver's guilt to be proven in espionage, illegal border-crossing, possession of a firearm and smuggling of a firearm.

The prosecutor had sought a 16-year jail sentence for Kohver. The Estonian security official pleaded not guilty.

The court proceeding which started at the end of July took place behind closed doors.

Estonia's Internal Security Service (ISS) 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 his official functions 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, ISS said.