9 Nov 2023 21:51

Latvian parliament ex-member gets 8.5-year prison sentence for spying for Russia

RIGA. Nov 9 (Interfax/BNS) - The Riga city court has sentenced a former member of Saeima (the Latvian parliament), Janis Adamsons, to eight years and six months of imprisonment with a two-year probationary period after finding him guilty of espionage for Russia, the court administration told the LETA agency.

The court also sentenced Gennady Silonov, a Russian citizen, to seven years and six months of imprisonment with a two-year probationary supervision for espionage.

Adamsons gathered and passed confidential information to a Russian special service via Silonov, and Silonov gathered such information on the service's instruction, the court's judge Erlens Ernstsons said. The information concerned the work of Latvian government agencies, law enforcement and national security bodies, and the army.

The court also established that Adamsons had unlawfully requested and received Saeima compensation of his transport expenses, and also illegally acquired and stored cartridges without permission.

Adamsons has denied passing information to Russian special services, but admitted his acquaintance with Silonov. Silonov has denied his involvement with Russian special services.

Adamsons' conviction will be appealed, his lawyer Mikhail Chernousov told LETA. The defendant's guilt is not proven and the case is "totally fabricated," Chernousov said.

Adamsons (Harmony Party) was arrested on suspicion of espionage in the summer of 2021 and later released from custody on bail. Adamsons was a member of Saeima's defense, internal affairs and corruption prevention commission, but did not have access to state secret information. In December 2021, the parliament permitted criminal prosecution of Adamsons to begin.