Estonia has accused or convicted a half-dozen people of spying for Russia since 2015, and now Moscow follows suit.
tol.org 12 December 2017
Estonian businessman Raivo Susi was convicted of espionage by a court in Moscow yesterday and sentenced to 12 years in a high security prison, the Baltic Times reports, citing Interfax.
Russian security officers arrested Susi at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport in February 2016 as he was about to board a flight to Tajikistan. His lawyer, Arkadi Tolpegin, said the charges related to his activities between 2004 and 2007. Susi owns several Estonian companies active in production and sales of jet aircraft to wealthy private customers, and another of his companies, Aerohooldus OU, leases two jet trainers to the Estonian military, the paper writes.
The closed-door trial was classified “top secret,” RFE/RL says.
Russian-Estonian relations have been marked for several years by spying allegations on both sides.
Last month, Estonia’s chief prosecutor’s office said it had detained a man on suspicion of espionage for Russia, and in May two Russian diplomats were expelled over inappropriate contacts with local officials, according to RFE.
The most dramatic case of alleged spying began in 2014 when Russia arrested an Estonian counterintelligence officer, Eston Kohver, just inside its territory. Kohver was convicted of espionage in August 2015 and sentenced to 15 years, only to be swapped a month later for a former Estonian security official convicted of spying for Moscow, according to AFP’s report at the time.
After Kohver’s arrest Estonia said he was investigating smuggling on its border with Russia.
• A Russian arrested by Estonia in January on suspicion of working for Russian military intelligence could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the head of Estonia’s Internal Security Service said in April, Bloomberg reported.
• In 2016 Estonia convicted two people with dual Estonian and Russian citizenship of spying, saying they had been recruited by Russia’s FSB domestic intelligence service. Two other FSB recruits were caught in 2015, Estonian authorities said, according to Bloomberg.
(Compiled by Ky Krauthamer)
Russia Jails Estonian for Espionage