A Lublin court on December 19 found 14 citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine guilty of preparing sabotage in favor of Moscow as part of a spy group.
Poland has completed its investigation of the Russian spy network, and authorities will now proceed with the trial of 16 individuals.
In November, authorities charged 16 defendants with espionage, which involved preparing to blow up trains carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine, as well as conducting surveillance of military facilities and critical infrastructure, PAP reported.
The court sentenced fourteen of them in absentia after they pleaded guilty but did not appear in court. Separate trials will be held for two other alleged members of the spy network, who withdrew their previous guilty pleas.
Thirteen of the defendants were sentenced by the Lublin court to sentences ranging from 1 year and 1 month to 6 years’ imprisonment, from 15,000 to 1,000 zlotys in fines and forfeiture of the equivalent value of the financial gain obtained.
One of them was a minor at the time of the act. He was subjected to measures provided for in the Law on the Support and Rehabilitation of Minors, as reported by PAP.
“Having considered the case, the court found all the defendants guilty of the crimes charged and also found that some of them acted as part of an organized criminal group,” said Judge Jaroslaw Kowalski, announcing the verdict.
The spokeswoman for the Lublin court, Barbara Markowska, told AFP that the members of the spy group were “Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians,” without providing more details.
Polish media reports state that Maxim S., a Russian hockey player for a Polish club from Sosnowiec who was arrested in June, is among the convicts, along with “two Ukrainian lawyers and a political scientist, a French teacher, a pharmacist, and a software engineer.”
Investigators reported that Russian curators assigned tasks to group members through Telegram and compensated them in cryptocurrency, with payments ranging from $300 to approximately $10,000.