Sunday, March 01, 2009

Estonian Jailed Over 'Biggest Spy Scandal in NATO History'

James Blitz and Tony Barber write in The Financial Times:

An Estonian official who passed NATO and other defence and diplomatic secrets to Russia was jailed for more than 12 years yesterday, ending what investigators called "the biggest ever spy scandal in NATO history".

Herman Simm, 61, handed over more than 2,000 pages of information to his handlers in Russia's SVR Foreign Intelligence Service, according to documents linked to the investigation.

EU diplomats said the Estonian spy had also seriously compromised the EU's internal security procedures. "He had total access to NATO and EU stuff and was handing everything he could find to his Russian handlers," one EU diplomat said.

Mr Simm worked at the Estonian defence ministry from 1995 to 2006 and had access to top secret documents, including those related to NATO, which Estonia joined in 2004.

An Estonian district court said it had convicted Mr Simm of state treason and passing on classified information and jailed him for 12 years and six months.

More here.


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