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Simm stripped of honors

  • 2009-03-13
  • from wire reports

Simm was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for treason.

TALLINN 's Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves hassigned a resolution stripping Herman Simm, the former senior Defense Ministryofficial sentenced to 12.5 years in jail for spying for Russia of the Order ofthe White Star, Class 4.

The Defense Ministry and the Information Board have alsoannounced that they will strip Simm of further medals and honors.

"The minister of defense has prepared the draft of an order wherebyHerman Simm will be stripped of the right to wear the service badge of theDefense Ministry," the ministry's spokesman Martin Jashko told BNS.

Simm has been awarded Class II Service Badge of the Defense Ministry.

The director general of the Information Board, Tarmo Turkson, has alreadystripped Simm of the service badge of the agency responsible for foreignintelligence in Estonia.

The president also stripped Risto Teinonen of his Estonian decoration. Teinonen,an ethnic Finn who has been under investigation in connection with allegedneo-Nazi activity, was deprived of his Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 5thClass, for wearing it together with the symbols of a state that has occupiedEstonia.

Teinonen received the honor as a Finnish boy scouts leader active in Estoniafrom then President Lennart Meri in 2001. A year later he was awarded Estoniancitizenship for special merit by the government of Prime Minister Mart Laar.

A criminal investigation opened by the Estonian security police oversuspicions that Teinonen was assembling neo-Nazis and skinheads to set up anassociation directed against the Republic of Estonia was ended by prosecutorsfor the absence of the necessary elements of a criminal offense.

The decision to withdraw his decoration arises from the publication ofphotographs showing him wearing the Estonian decoration on a Nazi uniform at aprivate party.