Estonian citizen suspected of terrorism to be extradited to Ukraine (5)
The Supreme Court of Estonia refused to hear the appeal of the decision that the extradition of Estonian citizen and terrorism suspect Vladimir Poljakov to Ukraine is lawful, which means that the decision stands and Poljakov now awaits extradition to Ukraine.
As the Supreme Court has refused to hear barrister Sven Sillar’s appeal in cassation, the Tallinn Circuit Court’s decision, which found that the Estonian Government’s December 21, 2015 order to extradite Poljakov to Ukraine was not unlawful, has entered into effect.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the Supreme Court did not take into account the UN Human Rights Committee’s June 3 report, which conclusively proved that Kiev-controlled detention facilities utilize physical coercion tactics and torture detainees,” Sillar told ERR.ee.
According to the barrister, it is now the duty of the Embassy of Ukraine Tallinn to find measures to ensure Poljakov’s physical integrity as a citizen of the Republic of Estonia.
“It is of course possible to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, however this process is known to take several months at best,” claimed Sillar.
In early February, Tallinn Administrative Court annulled the government’s extradition order and issued an injunction for the government to reconsider Poljakov’s extradition to Ukraine.
The final decision to extradite an Estonian citizen from the country rests with the Estonian Government, who bears the onus of ensuring that the individual’s extradition is legally permissible, which among other factors involves ensuring that there are no circumstances precluding the extradition.
Ukraine accuses Poljakov of having fought in the ranks of separatists in the Luhansk region of Eastern Ukraine. Allegedly, the Estonian citizen fulfilled separatist leaders’ orders, which were included but not limited to the guarding of both facilities and unlawfully detained individuals.
The establishment of a terrorist organization and the direction of or membership in such a group or organization are punishable in Ukraine by 8-15 years in prison.
The same crimes are punishable in Estonia by 5-20 years or life in prison. Estonian courts have also ruled extradition legally permissible.