Trial begins over two men accused of aiding terrorist ({{commentsTotal}})

A trial over two men from Tallinn, who prosecutors accuse of helping a third man to flee to Syria to fight for the terrorist organization Islamic State, began today at Harju County Court.

Ramil Khalilov (24) and Roman Manko (30) are accused of funding and supporting acts of terror.

ISS, the Internal Security Service, arrested the men in men April.

According to the charge, the men support the actions of Ivan Sazanakov, now known as Abdurrahman Azan, who is fighting for the Islamic State. According to Postimees, the two men gave cash to Sazanakov and attempted to transfer money to Syria. The sums mentioned were around a few hundred euros each time, amounting to a few thousand euros in total.

Lawyers of the men say the two supported the Sazanakov's family, not terrorism, and reject the charges.

Security in the court house has been beefed up during the hearings. The two men could face 2 to 10 years in prison, if found guilty.

Authorities have also issued an arrest warrant for Sazanakov, 31, an Estonian resident. He fled Estonia in 2013, taking his wife and two daughters to Syria with him.

Sazanakov is the only known case of a person from Estonia joining the Islamic State, although there is a confirmed case of someone joining the Kurds to fight against the Islamic State. According to estimates, close to 2,000 people have gone to Syria from Russia, mostly men of Central Asian backgrounds.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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