Ex state security officer Vladimir Penart is innocent, while his case is in a large degree of political character. This is the stand of the defence at the trial that started on Thursday in the Estonian city of Valga.
The 77-year-old Russian citizen, residing in Estonia, is charged with crimes against humanity, committed in 1953-1954, including the murder of the so-called "forest brothers" who fought against the Soviet power in Estonia.
Penart is defended by a Moscow lawyer, member of the Russian lawyers' guild Vakhtang Fyodorov.
The intent and serious attention Moscow shows in defending its citizens residing in Estonia has a colossal importance for preserving the authority of the Russian state, he said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Through accusing Penart and other veteran security officers, the Estonian authorities are trying to bring charges against the Russian state itself, Fyodorov believes.
"Studying the materials of the case, the defense has not found any direct evidence of Penart's involvement in the genocide, and the ones that are included are not strictly judicial and are mainly based on the political assessment of those events," the lawyer said. Thus the defense will arrange its work so as not to allow a judicial investigation of a person's action from the political point of view.