PM, FM condemn today’s judgement, demand Kohver’s immediate release ({{commentsTotal}})

The abduction of Eston Kohver on the territory of the Republic of Estonia by FSB on 5 September 2014, and the illegal detention that followed in the Russian Federation, has been illegitimate since the beginning, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in a statement on Eston Kohver's verdict. "It has been a clear and grave violation of international law by the Russian Federation."

"The staged court case that formed a verdict suitable for the Russian authorities has nothing to do with a fair trial," Rõivas said. "Considering the circumstances of his illegal detention and how the court evidence has been gathered, we know that Eston Kohver has not been free in his decisions."

"The authorities of Estonia continue to fully support Eston Kohver and are doing everything possible to free him from Russia," he added.

Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand too condemned the judgement rendered by the Pskov regional court today and the entire trial on strongest terms.

“The abduction of Eston Kohver from the territory of the Republic of Estonia by the FSB on September 5 and his unlawful detainment in Russia thereafter constitute a blatant breach of international law,” she said.

Kaljurand added that there has been no fair administration of justice in the proceedings concerning Eston Kohver . “Our consul was not allowed to be present at the hearings and Eston Kohver was deprived of adequate legal aid,” Kaljurand said. “We demand that Russia act by its international obligations, release Eston Kohver and guarantee his safe return to Estonia."

According to her, Estonia is very grateful to its allies and partners who have supported Estonia and raised the issue in international organisations and bilaterally with Russia. ‘Together with our allies and partners, we intend to keep up international pressure until Eston Kohver is released and has returned home to his family,” she added.

Today, on August 19, the Pskov regional court rendered a judgement of conviction against Eston Kohver and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. In a mark of protest, diplomats from the Estonian Embassy and the European Union delegation in Moscow were present at the pronouncement of the judgement.

Editor: M. Oll