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2019.07.15 17:39

Russia spying suspect denied access to family, relatives complain

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2019.07.15 17:39

Algirdas Paleckis, former leader of the Socialist People's Front who is suspected of spying for Russia, has met with his wife only once during the past nine months, his father, former MEP Justas Vincas Paleckis claims.

"Over the past almost nine months, there's been a single meeting with his wife, and that's it. Neither the kids, nor the parents or other relatives have seen him. We have communicated only by means of letters," Justas Vincas Paleckis told BNS Lithuania.

In his words, his son "categorically rejects the accusations".

Justas Vincas Paleckis says the prosecutor does not allow his son to meet with relatives, which is surprising.

"As far as I understand from speaking with the lawyers, it's the prosecutor's prerogative. Why such decisions have been made I cannot say as I am not a lawyer. I cannot imagine how this could impede the investigation. Maybe it's some sort means of putting pressure," he said.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors proposed extending Paleckis' detention for another three months. Kaunas Regional Court is due to make the decision on Tuesday.

Justas Vincas Paleckis says his son's detention conditions are "satisfactory."

Lithuanian prosecutors are set to finish the investigation into the spying case against Algirdas Paleckis, former leader of the Socialist People's Front, and several other persons this year, the delfi.lt news websites reported earlier in July, citing law enforcement sources.

Paleckis and Deimantas Bertauskas, a Vilnius businessman who is also a suspect in the case, could have contacted Nikolai Filipchenko, an officer of Russia's security service FSB.

Convicted in 2017, Filipchenko tried to recruit Lithuania's VSD officers and also install wiretapping equipment in President Dalia Grybauskaitė's office and residence.

Law enforcement officials said in December 2018, that Paleckis was part of an unnamed "network of people," who are suspected of spying for Russia. Peleckis has been detained since October.

Established in 2008, the Socialist People's Front and its former leader Paleckis have been previously mentioned in public intelligence reports on threats to national security.

The people suspected of spying for Russia were allegedly collecting information on prosecutors and judges from the earlier landmark case, which saw 67 Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian citizens sentenced for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Read more: Suspected Russian spy network found; Lithuania due to finish the case this year