5 Charged in April Riots
After being detained without any formal charges for over six months, Tallinn authorities have finally charged five men considered their 'prime suspects' for organising the riots which rocked the Estonian capital in April 2007. During, and in the aftermath of, the April upheaval, some 2000 people were detained, 200 arrested and 15 sentenced to varying jail terms, though most of those sentences have since been suspended. Meanwhile, authorities continued to detain two activists - Dmitry Linter and Maxim Reva - of the Russian nationalist youth movement 'Night Vigil,' high school student Mark Siryk, and journalist Dimitry Klensky, also a Night Vigil activist. Authorities accuse the men of instigating and organising the riots, and all four could face up to five year jail terms if convicted.
Estonian authorities have also leveled accusations at the Russian government for their involvement. "According to the statement of charges, there is reason to believe that financial support and advice to organize mass disorders was also received from the Russian Federation," State Prosecutor Laura Vaik said in a statement. The four men are believed to have begun organising the riots as early as mid-2006, with support from Moscow.
A fifth person, Yevgeny Chistov, 31, has also recently been indicted for 'participation in street riots in Tallinn in April.' Christov has been sentenced to 12 months in jail in what have been described as 'streamlined proceedings in hearing the case upon agreement between the defendant and the prosecution.' He will also be expected to reimburse 345 in legal fees.
Follow the link below for more information about April's riots and Estonian-Russian relations.