Estonian court jails former ISS employee for spying for Russia

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Estonian Internal Security Service building.
Estonian Internal Security Service building. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A court in Estonia jailed Vladimir Kulikov, former employee of the Internal Security Service (ISS) arrested in March, for a period of five years for spying for Russia.

The Tallinn-based Harju County Court issued the ruling in September and it has entered into force, the Office of the Prosecutor General told the Russian-language news portal of public broadcaster ERR.

Kulikov was accused of engaging in relations against the Republic of Estonia and of intelligence activities against Estonia. The details of the charge are not public.

"This procedure is yet another example of our ability to detect offenses against the state, as well as track down and bring to justice perpetrators," said Chief State Prosecutor Taavi Pern, according to prosecutor's office spokespersons.

"Achieving a criminal conviction shows that such crimes have serious real consequences," Pern added.

"Although one crime has been solved, the prosecutor's office and the ISS will continue their work in combating crimes that threaten the Estonian state, as this is the only way to achieve good results and to prosecute those perpetrators of offenses against the state who have not yet been identified," he continued.

The ISS arrested its former employee on March 26, suspecting him of cooperation with the Russian special services. Kulikov left the ISS in 2012 due to a trauma sustained during service.

When working for ISS, the Estonian president decorated Kulikov with an Order of the Cross of the Eagle, while he has also been awarded the title of ISS Employee of the Year.

After leaving the ISS, Kulikov worked as a judo coach.

Harrys Puusepp, spokesperson for the ISS, said in March that Kulikov was advised not to travel to Russia as, to the knowledge of the ISS, he served as an interest to the Russian special services. Kulikov ignored the warning and traveled to Russia, where he was contacted by special services. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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