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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Estonian Accused of Plotting Coup

TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonian security agents have arrested a radical nationalist and accused him of plotting to overthrow the government, officials said Monday.

Tiit Madisson, the head of the Central Union of Nationalists and a prominent Soviet-era dissident, was charged with high treason, although Estonian leaders and fellow nationalists said he most likely was bluffing.

Madisson was arrested Friday after issuing a leaflet claiming that an underground armed group called the Liberation Army was planning to overthrow Estonia's government and establish a nationalist military dictatorship.

The leaflet, cited by the Baltic News Service, accused government leaders of being corrupt and having criminal links. It indicated that Estonia's armed forces were prepared to cooperate with the underground.

It gave various scenarios, some of which involved terrorist attacks and armed confrontations with the government.

"According to this document, Madisson took concrete steps to change the constitutional order of Estonia,'' a spokesman for the Baltic country's security police told BNS.

Estonian Prime Minister Tiit Vahi told Radio Estonia that he initially thought the report of one person's coup attempt was a "joke.'' Later, enough incriminating evidence emerged to arrest Madisson, he said.