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2019.09.11 12:30

Lithuanian soldiers appeal sentence in Russia-spying case

BNS2019.09.11 12:30

The Court of Appeal of Lithuania on Wednesday started hearing the case of two former soldiers found guilty of spying for Russia.

"We are appealing that there was no organised [network] and the sentence should be reduced accordingly," Adomas Liutvinskas, the lawyer for one of the convicts who lodged the appeal, told BNS.

If the crime qualification is changed, the issued prison sentence should be changed as well, he said.

Prosecutor Redas Savickas told BNS he's asking for the appeal to be rejected. The case is being heard behind closed doors.

In June, a court in Lithuania's northern city of Šiauliai found the two persons guilty of spying for Russia and issued them prison sentences of four years and nine months.

One of the persons used to work at the Lithuanian airbase in Šiauliai, which also hosts NATO's air policing mission, while the second had already retired. They both plead guilty during the case hearing.

According to case documents, espionage activities at the base began in 2014, and involved photographing official documents, the layouts of premises and the airport, plans and facilities, and orders and decisions by the command, and other non-public but non-classified data.

Secret meetings with Russian intelligence officers were held in Russia or other foreign countries and various conspiracy measures were involved, the prosecutors said.

Both defendants were detained on December 11, 2017 after law enforcement officers received information from Lithuanian intelligence institutions on the transfer of information to a foreign intelligence institution and suspected espionage.

Read more: Lithuanian court finds two people guilty of spying for Russia