Court rejects Aivo Peterson custody appeal

Aivo Peterson.
Aivo Peterson. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

On Monday, Tallinn Circuit Court rejected a request by Aivo Peterson's defense lawyer to release Peterson from custody.

Peterson was arrested by the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) on March 11, along with two other men on suspicion of fostering relationships considered harmful to the Estonian state. At the request of the Prosecutor's Office, all three men were remanded in custody for a period of two months.

The court dismissed the appeal by Peterson's lawyer, Mati Senkel to release his client from custody, leaving the order made by Harju County Court om March 11 unchanged.

The Prosecutor's Office has not announced when Peterson will be charged.

Aivo Peterson is one of the leading members of the Koos/Vmeste movement. Peterson ran as a candidate in the recent Riigikogu elections in Ida-Viru County on the list of the United Left Party (EÜVP), winning 3,969 votes.

Fostering a relationship considered harmful to the Estonian state is punishable under Section 235(1) of the Penal Code, which states that: "Membership in a permanent organisation which consists of three or more persons who share a distribution of tasks and which has been formed with the intention of carrying out violent activities directed against the Republic of Estonia, or forming, leading or recruitment of members to such organisation is punishable by a term of up to six years imprisonment."

According to the Court, while at liberty, there is a risk the men involved may evade criminal proceedings and continue to commit the crimes of which they stand accused.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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