Internal Security Service classifies traitors' files for 50 years

The trial of Deniss Metsavas and Pjotr Volin.
The trial of Deniss Metsavas and Pjotr Volin. Source: Estonian Internal Security Service

The Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) has classified for half a century files pertaining to Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) ex-member Deniss Metsavas and his father Pjotr Volin, who were found guilty of treason and forwarding internal information to the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU).

The ISS has previously classified documents concerning the criminal cases of other traitors, including Vladimir Veitman, 68, Aleksei Dressen, 52, his spouse Viktoria Dressen, 54, and Herman Simm, 71, for the same period of time.

Pursuant to the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act, state secrets are protected at the following levels of classification, listed according to increasing importance: restricted, confidential, secret, and top secret.

Maximum classification is established for 75 years if the information may pose a threat to the life of law enforcement agents or people involved in surveillance activities. At the same time, classification shall expire if 20 years have passed since the death of a person, but not earlier than 50 years since the classification of the information.

Information concerning international cooperation of security authorities and cooperation carried out with various power structures is also classified for a period of 50 years.

15 and 6 years

Harju County Court on Monday found Deniss Metsavas, 38, and his father Pjotr Volin, 65, guilty of treason and forwarding of internal information to a foreign country. In a plea deal, Metsavas was sentenced to 15 years and six months in prison, while Volin was sentenced to six years in prison.

According to the charges, Metsavas and Volin aided the GRU in nonviolent activity against Estonia and collected and forwarded Estonian state secrets, classified external information and internal information to the GRU. Communications channels as well as immediate meetings were used to hand over the information, for which the convicted individuals also received remuneration totalling slightly less than €20,000 for work carried out over a ten-year period.

Since 2008, the ISS has caught six traitors and 11 persons who carried out crimes against the Estonian state in favour of Russian special services, all of whom have been prosecuted on the leadership of the Prosecutor's Office and convicted by the courts.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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