Estonian consul in Moscow will not be allowed to attend the court proceedings over Eston Kohver in Pskov because Russian judge ruled that the trial is closed.
The Estonian security official Eston Kohver, held at a prison in Moscow since September 2014, will face a secret trial slated to start on June 2 in Russian town Pskov, located just 20 kilometers east from the Estonian border. Estonian daily Postimees reported today that Kohver has already been transported to Pskov.
The consul had a meeting with Kohver on Friday, May 29, to assure him on continuing support from Estonian authorities, and inform him on the attempts to free him. The next meeting will take place at the earliest opportunity, but the decision by Russia's court system not to permit the Estonian consul to be present at the trial caused annoyance.
However, Kohver's Russian state-appointed lawyer Yevgeni Aksyonov told Postimees on Monday that Estonian consul will be able to ask Pskov's court permission to meet Kohver in the court's confinement area. Aksyonov said that the court process will formally start on June 2, but the proceedings will get into full swing next week. When asked to indicate the length of the trial, the lawyer revealed that there are five case files. He added that no witnessed from Estonia have been invited to the trial.
Aksyonov has earlier said that the Estonian security official faces charges of espionage, illegal transportation of weapons, and illegal crossing of the Russian border.
If found guilty, Kohver faces imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Kohver was kidnapped from the Estonian-Russian border by Russian special forces on September 5 last year and is still being held at the Lefortovo prison in Moscow.
Editor: S. Tambur