Georgian MFA: Estonian Policeman's Conviction and Detention by Russia “Illegal”

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) published a statement regarding the abduction of Estonian police officer Eston Kohver by the Russian security services from the Estonian territory, near the Estonian-Russian border, about a year ago.

The Georgian MFA in the statement expresses its concern over the prison sentence that was handed down on 19 August by the court in the Pskov region of the Russian Federation.

“We consider the conviction, as well as the detention of Eston Kohver to be an illegal act“ - the statement reads.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry, thereby, hopes that the international community will spare no effort to ensure the immediate release and safe return of the Estonian citizen to his country.

Eston Kohver was an Estonian law enforcement officer investigating a suspected smuggling operation by organized crime groups.

Less than a year ago, on the morning of September 5, 2014, Kohver was on his way to meet a confidential informant in a secluded forest near the village of Miikse, just a few kilometers from the border with Russia.

Kohver was ambushed with stun grenades, abducted at gunpoint, taken across the border to Russia, and charged with espionage, in what Estonian officials described as a “well-planned operation.”

Yesterday Russian court sentenced the Estonian official Kohver to 15 years in prison for espionage and other charges.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Taavi Roivas condemned Russian actions calling it "a clear and grave violation of international law."

20 August 2015 14:33