Estonian businessman Raivo Susi has been under arrest in Russia for more than a year. There are signs that his case is getting closer to a trial, as about a week ago, an investigator of Russia’s federal security service FSB started introducing the evidence gathered against Susi.
Susi’s lawyer, Arkadi Tolpegin, confirmed to daily Postimees that Susi was granted access to the criminal proceedings against him, and was now familiarizing with it. Tolpegin added that he was hoping the matter would be attended to within the next four to six weeks.
This meant that the preliminary investigation was over, and that no later than early June the FSB would pass on the results to the prosecutor to confirm the charges. Once all of this was done, the court trial could then begin in summer.
The FSB arrested Susi in 2016 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. At the time, Susi was on his way from Tallinn to Tajikistan.
Susi is in the business of buying and selling aircraft systems and parts across the area of the former Soviet Union. The FSB has so far refused to reveal what they are accusing Susi of, and also had Susi’s lawyer sign a commitment not to disclose anything about the content of the charges. Tolpegin has only revealed that the acts the FSB is accusing Susi of were allegedly committed between 2004 and 2007.
It is worth noting that the criminal investigation was opened only at the beginning of 2016. In all the years in between, Susi had been able to freely enter and leave Russia.
Susi has denied having committed any act of espionage.
Postimees learned in Moscow that the charges may have to do with “equipment” traded by Susi, probably referring to aircraft spare parts. Susi bought and sold disused aircraft and spare parts left in the former Soviet republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As far as is known, he did not trade in military aircraft, which might be deemed an illegal activity.
Susi told Postimees through his lawyer in spring that he had a license to service L-29, L-39, Yak-12, Yak-52 and An-2 aircraft. Of these types of aircraft, the Czech-made L-29 and L-39 are jets used in the training of fighter pilots, but are not military aircraft as such.
Postimees also learned that Susi arrived on a flight from Tallinn and was about to fly to Tajikistan on business when the FSB arrested him at Sheremetyevo on Feb. 10 last year.
Editor: Dario Cavegn