Former Interior Minister: Potential Turncoats Could Be Found Throughout Public Sector ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee, Kalle Laanet, said in light of Estonia's third treason case in the last five years that he would not judge 1990s security structures harshly for hiring former KGB specialists, nor would he put a number on possible quislings, who he said were a potential problem not just within security services.

"It's very difficult to say a number and certainly not even our best-informed people could say who are considered people of suspicion. But certainly there are such doubts and not only in the special services but in a number of public structures," he told ERR radio today.

Laanet, a former police official and interior minister under Prime Minister Ansip's first administration, also said that younger personnel were not beyond suspicion. "The question isn't about when one was born but about the individual - the ambitions, weaknesses that can be drawn on psychologically," he said.

Laanet (formerly Center Party) credited the Internal Security Service (KaPo) for its role in exposing the latest, alleged spy, Vladimir Veitman, who is in custody pending a charge of treason.

But along with internal house cleaning, Laanet said "soft methods" had to play an important role in espionage interdiction efforts. "What I mean is that people in public service must reaffirm to themselves every day what the goal of their actions is," he said.