Pärnu County Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by former Italian member of the European Parliament Giulietto Chiesa who was detained and sent out of Estonia in mid-December for violating an entry ban and who subsequently took Estonia to court over the case.
Chiesa appealed the decision by Estonian Ministry of Interior Affairs from December 12, 2014, under which he was banned from entering Estonia from December 13-January 13, 2015.
Pärnu County Court rejected Chiesa's complaint. He can now appeal to the Tallinn Circuit Court within 30 days.
Despite the entry ban, Chiesa traveled to Estonia on December 15 and was detained on the same day by Estonian police.
At the time, he was due to speak at an NGO Impressum meeting titled “Does Europe need to fear Russia?” He had previously spoken at similar events organized by Impressum, which Estonian authorities say is a propaganda organization financed by the Russian government.
He was released by the police swiftly, after the Italian ambassador to Estonia also intervened, but asked to leave the country.
Shortly before leaving, Chiesa said that he is not in Estonia to protect Russian interests, but "hysterical attacks" against Russia are not in anyone's interest.
The Estonian Interior Ministry said that they have a reason to believe that Chiesa, who had already twice participated in NGO Impressum conferences, could threaten Estonia's public order and security.
Chiesa was a member of the Italian Communist Party, a MEP between 2004-2009, and was also stationed in Moscow for 20 years during the Soviet period as a Soviet Union-financed Italian journalist.
He has published a number of books, including one which, among other topics, also focused on the relocation of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn. He also supported Arnold Meri, an Estonian Soviet army veteran charged by Estonian authorities for genocide for his role in the deportation of Estonians to Siberia.
He has spoken critically of Georgia's action in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and supported the Russian annexation of the Crimea.
Editor: S. Tambur