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Stockmann bombers go on trial in December

  • 2000-10-26
  • Aleksei Gynter
TALLINN - Police disclosed the Stockmann bombing case and sent six people to court on Oct. 10.

Accused of extorting 2 million kroons ($108,000) and organizing two explosions in Tallinn's Stockmann department store on May 19, 22-year-old Deniss Balonski, Nikolai Bobrov, and 25- year-old Marina Kasirova face trial on Dec. 18-19, according to Tallinn City Court Judge Aime Ivanson.

Three more suspects, Andrei and Ruslan Berezin and Igor Gretsko, accused of illegal possession and use of explosives and complicity in arranging the blasts, will be in the dock along with them.

The trial, however, could be postponed for reasons such as witnesses' absence, according to Ivanson.

"As to the penalty the accused may pay, it is hard to predict it. Some of the charges like illegal possession and usage of explosives provide from three to eight years of imprisonment," said Ivanson.

The security police board revealed some details uncovered during the investigation.

The initiator of the crime was allegedly Bobrov. He developed the plan at the beginning of May, and later let Balonski into the conspiracy. Kasirova, who had worked at Stockmann as Estonian Security Service guard, joined them two days before the explosions.

Kont said the explosives were made in a clever way and consisted of a 300 milliliter plastic bottle with ammonite, electronic detonator, Motorola D160 mobile phone with pre-paid GSM card and battery. To activate the device, a call to the mobile phone was all that was needed.

Bobrov and Balonski constructed and hid two devices in juice and pastry packs in Stockmann's food department one day before the explosion.

The bombs blasted at 4:40 a.m. and 10:54 a.m. accordingly. Two women were seriously injured in the second explosion.

According to Stockmann, the department store lost about from 5.1 million to 7.6 million kroons ($276,000 to $411,000) as a result of the two explosions and security measures intensified for one week.