Estonia: Ex-security official convicted of treason

Jul 3, 2012, 7:55 PM

Associated Press

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) – A former security official in Estonia has been convicted of treason and will spend 16 years in prison, while his wife received a suspended six-year sentence for treason as well as helping her husband carry out the crime, a court announced Tuesday. Prosecutors allege the couple’s actions aided Russia.

The verdicts were announced by the Harju County Court, which tried Aleksei Dressen, a former veteran security police official working with Estonia’s Interior Ministry, and his wife, Viktoria.

The trial was closed to the public and the media, and the court did not say who 43-year-old Dressen had given sensitive government information to. But prosecutors said Dressen and his wife, who was not a government employee, were suspected of passing along the material to Russia’s main security agency, the FSB, over several years.

Later Tuesday, prosecutor Heili Sepp said a plea bargain was involved and that the court would publish details of Dressen’s sentence within two weeks.

“To our knowledge, this is the harshest punishment meted out in plea bargain proceedings in Estonia,” Sepp told reporters.

Aleksei and Viktoria Dressen were arrested at Tallinn Airport in February as she was boarding a flight to Moscow.

Prosecutors said that Aleksei Dressen _ who had access to documents considered state secrets _ went to the airport to give his wife a folder that contained classified information. She allegedly acted as a courier between her husband and the FSB.

Estonian security police head Raivo Aeg said Tuesday that the FSB made initial contact with Aleksei Dressen back in 1998.

Estonia is extremely distrustful of its big eastern neighbor Russia. Security officials and politicians claim that Russia’s intelligence community has increased its espionage activities substantially in the Baltic states _ Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania _ since the three countries joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

Dressen’s conviction is the second high-profile spy case in Estonia in recent years. In 2009, one of Estonia’s top security officials, Herman Simm, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of treason for passing domestic and NATO secrets to Russia in a case that shocked the tiny nation of 1.3 million

The case turned out to be one of the most damaging in the history of NATO.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
3 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Estonia: Ex-security official convicted of treason