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Simm applies for legal aid

Herman Simm was imprisoned for treason in 2009.
Herman Simm was imprisoned for treason in 2009. Source: (PPA)

Herman Simm, sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison for treason in 2009, has submitted an application for legal aid to the Supreme Court to appeal the Tartu county court’s decision against an early discharge.

The Tartu district court upheld a county court ruling against granting Simm (69) an early discharge on Apr. 10 this year. The district court noted that Simm had committed an exceptionally serious crime against the Estonian state. Because of this, discharging Simm early would negatively affect the perception of justice in society, and would also be against the purpose of the punishment he was sentenced to, the court stated.

The Tartu county court had found earlier that though in Simm’s case the danger of a repetition of the crime was low, his early release would be against the interest of defending the rule of law, and would also go against preventive considerations.

Tartu Prison, where Simm is in custody, supported his application, but did itself not get the support of the prosecutor.

Simm appealed the decision in the district court, but lost. He now wants to take the issue to the Supreme Court, for which he requires legal aid.

Simm, who was a high-ranking NATO liaison officer and before his arrest held an advisory position, was found guilty of having sold thousands of documents to Russian foreign intelligence service SVR over a period of 13 years.

Beyond his conviction as a traitor, in a civil action Simm was found to have caused the Ministry of Defence damage in the amount of 20,155,000 kroons, or €1.38 million.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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