Former Italian MEP Giulietto Chiesa who was detained and sent out of Estonia in mid-December for violating an entry ban, has now taken Estonia to court over the case.
Chiesa was due to speak at a pro-Kremlin meeting in Tallinn organized by NGO Impressum, which has been named as an agent organization of Russia by the Estonian authorities.
Chiesa submitted a lawsuit against Estonia at Tallinn's Administrative Court on Monday, ERR's Russian-language news website reported. The aim is an entry ban imposed on him by the Ministry of the Interior on December 12, last year, three days before the Impressum meeting.
At a press conference shortly before leaving Estonia, Chiesa said that he is not in Estonia to protect Russian interests, but "hysterical attacks" against Russia are not in anyone's interest. He promised to return to Estonia.
The Estonian Interior Ministry said that they have a reason to believe that Chiesa, who has already twice participated in NGO Impressum conferences, could threaten Estonia's public order and security.
Chiesa was due to speak at a NGO Impressum meeting titled “Does Europe need to fear Russia?” He has spoken at similar events organized by Impressum, which Estonian authorities say is a propaganda tool financed by the Russian government.
Chiesa was a member of the Italian Communist Party, a MEP between 2004-2009, and was also stationed in Moscow for 20 years during the Soviet period as a Soviet Union-financed Italian journalist.
He had spoken at Impressum events in Estonia twice before, in 2008 and 2011, published a number of controversial books, including one which, among other topics, also focused on the relocation of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn. He also supported Arnold Meri, an Estonian Soviet army veteran charged by Estonian authorities for genocide for his role in the deportation of Estonians to Siberia.
He has spoken critically of Georgia's action in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and supported the Russian annexation of the Crimea.
Editor: J.M. Laats