Swedish prosecutors ask 12 years and life imprisonment for Russian spies

In a Stockholm court, prosecutors announced that they are asking for life imprisonment for two brothers, who are suspected of spying for Russia.

The Swedish news agency TT reported this.

The brothers, aged 42 and 35, are accused of spying against Sweden for ten years on behalf of the Russian intelligence service GRU. The 42-year-old man is also charged with unauthorized handling of classified information under aggravating circumstances.

According to prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, the accused received the information via the 42-year-old man’s work for the Swedish Security Service and the Military Intelligence and Security Service of the Swedish Armed Forces. His younger brother was mainly engaged in contact with the GRU.

He clarified that the maximum punishment requested by the prosecutor’s office applies if the Stockholm court fully confirms the men’s guilt. If the court finds that the brothers “provided and facilitated” the dissemination of classified information but did not disclose it, the 42-year-old man faces at least 16 years in prison, and the 35-year-old – eight years in prison.

In turn, the defense of the accused said they demanded full acquittal of the men, as they categorically denied any guilt.

The main hearing of the case in the Stockholm District Court ended on December 19. The men requested to be released after the hearing, but the court decided they should remain in custody until sentencing.

The verdict in the case is expected to be announced on January 19.

The charges against the men became known in November 2021. The Swedish prosecutor’s office then said that their espionage is considered a serious offense because it “concerns circumstances of great importance” and the information collected “could harm Sweden” in the hands of a foreign state.

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