Estonia summons Russian ambassador for third time over captured intelligence official

  • 2014-09-15
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian intelligence officer Eston Kohver (right) with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (photo: LETA)

Estonia says it has summoned its Russian ambassador in Tallinn for a third time over the controversial capture of Estonian intelligence official last week.

Tallinn says Kohver, 44 was captured in Estonian territory last Friday by members of Russia's secret service FSB after investigating a case of cross border crime.

Moscow, however, say Kohver was carrying out espionage activities. Russian media showed video reports of Kohver being led to a detention center in Russia. A handgun, 5,000 euros of cash and a mission brief was found on Kohver at the time of his arrest.

The secret agent is now being held in a Moscow prison awaiting court proceedings. If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison, his lawyers say.

Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet sent a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which he demanded that Estonian Security Police (KaPo) official Eston Kohver, who was taken from the Estonian territory to Russia on September 5, be released, Public Broadcasting reports.

"Taking an Estonian citizen to Russia and keeping him in a Moscow prison is a clear violation of international law," said Paet. "Eston Kohver has to be released immediately so that he could return to Estonia."

Paet added that it was very regrettable that the bilateral contacts between Estonian and Russian authorities have so far not led to a final solution of releasing Kohver.

(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)