Prosecution preparing Clyde Kull charges

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Clyde Kull at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs crosses of merit ceremony.
Clyde Kull at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs crosses of merit ceremony. Source: Marko Mumm/Foreign Ministry

The Office of the Prosecutor General has concluded pretrial proceedings and is drawing up charges in the case of one of Estonia's most experienced diplomats Clyde Kull, daily Eesti Päevaleht writes.

The Office of the Prosecutor General and ISS handed Kull suspicions in the spring of 2021.

Then public prosecutor Inna Ombler said that suspicions concern embezzlement by an official and mishandling of classified foreign information.

Proceedings were launched on the initiative of the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the security service to extend Kull's state secrets clearance.

ISS found that Kull has hid owning property in the Russian Federation, using a gratuitous contract to transfer ownership to a third person, generating rental income, as well as contacts with a foreign country's intelligence and security services and maintaining foreign investment and bank accounts.

The mishandling of classified information part has by now been removed from suspicions and proceedings reclassified as concerning a misdemeanor.

Kull said on Monday that the prosecution has not yet concluded pretrial investigation concerning the first part of suspicions - embezzlement.

"We are dealing with two separate legal processes - one regarding the ISS and extending my state secrets clearance, which the agency refused to do based on aforementioned accusations, and which my legal counsel and I have challenged in administrative court. The other is the prosecution's criminal proceedings regarding embezzlement (representation expenses) and alleged violation of the obligation to safeguard state secrets that has by now been terminated," Kull said.

It is likely that the ISS looked into Kull for contacts he established when studying at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Eesti Päevaleht notes. Kull has never made it a secret he attended the school which fact has not affected his security clearance in the past.

The daily concludes that many find that what has happened to Kull has been exaggerated or downright unfair.

Kull had no criticism for the foreign ministry but said that the state prosecution and ISS have destroyed him and his career.

The article has been amended to clear up details and factual inaccuracies.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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