Interior Ministry to Protest Interpol's Decision to Transmit Russian Warrant (1)
Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher says an objection will be filed with Interpol in the coming days regarding the organization's decision to post a Russian Federation arrest warrant notice for IRL politician Eerik-Niiles Kross.
Vaher denounced the wanted notice as part of a witch hunt, demanding that the posting on an international database be taken down, reported ETV.
"We are protesting this so that Interpol changes a subcommittee's decision and discontinues internationally mediating the request from the Russian Federation, which is clearly politically motivated," said Vaher, who is a member of the same political party as Kross.
Interpol's notice had appeared one day before Estonia's October 20 local elections, in which Kross was the chief rival to Tallinn's incumbent mayor. Observers speculated that Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar had somehow used his Russian connections to sabotage Kross's campaign.
But the warrant itself traces back to an old affair, involving a Russian investigation of the Arctic Sea, a ship that was hijacked in 2009. In that case, a defendant who was found guilty and sentenced identified Kross, diplomat and a former chief of the Estonian intelligence service, as the mastermind behind the operation.
The accusations have been widely discredited, though, by Estonian officials. Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said it was "unacceptable to politicize a criminal investigation." The Estonian Prosecutor's Office has said there is no evidence to even remotely tie Kross to the case, calling for Russian authorities to be more cooperative if they want to question Kross.
Marko Mihkelson, IRL's chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in his public Facebook status: "I don't remember an election with this much Russian interference."