Dual Estonian-Russian citizen suspected of treason in Russia ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Russian passports. Photo is illustrative.
Russian passports. Photo is illustrative. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Sergei Lõhmus, a resident of Russia's Pechory District who was arrested as a suspect in treason in Moscow in mid-August, holds dual Estonian-Russian citizenship, daily Postimees reports.

Lõhmus, who graduated from the Academy of Law Management of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in 2011, was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), opposition paper Pskovskaya Gubernia reported, likewise confirming his dual citizenship.

Like Lõhmus, many residents in Pechory District, which lies along Russia's border with Estonia, hold both Estonian and Russian citizenship.

Lõhmus, who turned 38 on Thursday, was arrested on Aug. 13 and placed into pretrial detention in Moscow's Lefortovo Prison, where the FSB holds individuals suspected or accused of treason. All that is currently known about his case, which constitutes a state secret in Russia, is that he is suspected of treason, and that if he is found guilty, Lõhmus will face 12-20 years in prison.

Neither the FSB nor the court handling the case have commented on the content of the allegations against him.

The fact that Lõhmus is suspected of treason indicates that the FSB regards him in this criminal case as a Russian national. Were the FSB to treat him as an Estonian citizen, suspicions against Lõhmus would involve the section of the Russian Criminal Code addressing espionage instead.

Lõhmus' brother, Aleksandr Lõhmus, one of few lawyers practicing in Pechory, did not return Postimees' Thursday phone calls regarding his brother's arrest.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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