2019.08.06 17:00

Court rejects appeal of Russia-spying suspect

BNS2019.08.06 17:00

The Lithuanian Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal filed by Algirdas Paleckis, a Lithuanian politician suspected of spying for Russia, against his detention.

"The appeal has been rejected," the politician's lawyer Algis Petrulis told BNS.

Paleckis had appealed against the ruling of Kaunas Regional Court, issued in mid-July, against the extension of his detention for another three months. Paleckis has been in custody since his arrest in October 2018.

The former leader of the Socialist People's Front, is a suspect in a case where an unidentified "network of persons" are suspected of illegally gathering information on law-enforcement officials and judges involved in the so-called January 13 case, and other data for Russia.

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

Russian law enforcement earlier launched proceedings against Lithuanian judges and prosecutors who were involved in the January 13 case.

Prosecutors maintain Paleckis could leave Lithuania and go in hiding if released, which his lawyer denies. Petrulis also said his client's health is deteriorating and he's barred from meeting with his relatives.

Lithuanian prosecutors are set to finish the investigation into the spying case against Paleckis and several other persons this year, the news website reported earlier, citing law enforcement sources.

According to the website, the State Security Department has found that the suspects allegedly had contact with other persons who also cooperated with Russian intelligence organizations and provided them with information.

Paleckis and Deimantas Bertauskas, a Vilnius businessman who is also a suspect in the case, could have contact with Nikolai Filipchenko, an officer of Russia's security service FSB, who handed over his direct commander's orders to collect information, reported.

Paleckis, suspected of spying for Russia, has been detained since October, and softer measures of suppression are in place for Bertauskas.

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

Intelligence have called the Socialist People's Front a pro-Russian party and written about the party members' participation in pro-Russian propaganda events against the United States and NATO.

Convicted in 2017, Filipchenko tried to recruit officers of the State Security Department and also install wiretapping equipments in President Dalia Grybauskaitė's office and at her residence.

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