Woman detained on suspicion of spying

Internal Security Service (ISS, or Kaitsepolitsei in Estonian) logo.
Internal Security Service (ISS, or Kaitsepolitsei in Estonian) logo. Source: ISS

An Estonian woman suspected of spying on the Estonian state has been detained.

The woman, aged 41, has been detained by order of Harju County Court after the prosecutor's office found reason to believe she had been engaged in counter-intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign state and in a manner detrimental to Estonia, investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress writes (link in Estonian).

The woman, who is not a public figure nor civil servant, had previously been detained by the Internal Security Service (ISS).

The individual is a businesswoman whose firm provides consultancy services which made a 2018 profit of €16,000, Eesti Ekspress reports, and holds assets of €600,000.

The woman has reportedly never run for political office, nor is she a member of any political party.

Her social media account indicates that she visited China last year, Eesti Ekspress says.

She had previously worked as a lawyer, acting in civil cases.

A change to the Penal Code last year means the woman, if found guilty, could be imprisoned for up to six years. She is also suspected of having engaged in supporting counter-intelligence activities, though not of treason or wiretapping-type actions, and under the section of the Penal Code dealing with those activities, current law provides for a two-to-15-year jail sentence.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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