Crime & Justice

14 citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia sentenced in Poland for spying for Moscow

Krakow, Poland, Dec 19 (EFE).- A court in Lublin, eastern Poland, on Tuesday sentenced 14 nationals from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other countries to between 13 months and 6 years in prison and several fines for spying for Russia and planning sabotage.

The convicts, who range in age from 17 to 44, pleaded guilty to espionage and membership in a criminal organization, according to the verdict, which was handed down without a trial or evidence, based on the prisoners’ confessions.

In the case of the convicted minor from Ukraine, it was decided that he would serve his sentence in a juvenile prison, although he was tried with the rest of the defendants by the judge’s decision.

Two other persons accused of the same crimes, who allegedly collaborated with the gang, chose not to plead guilty, so they will be subjected to a separate procedure, with an evidentiary phase and a trial.

The accused were arrested in November and have been in custody ever since.

According to Stanislaw Zaryn, the Minister of Special Affairs at the time of the arrest, the gang was coordinated “from countries on the other side of Poland’s eastern border” and its members resided in cities in eastern Poland, such as Chełm, Medyka, Przemyśl and Rzeszów, all of which are near the border with Ukraine.

The total number of detainees in Poland on charges of spying for Moscow since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine exceeds thirty. Among them is the Spanish journalist Pablo González.

On March 23, 2022, shortly after the outbreak of the war, the Polish government expelled 45 Russian diplomats from the Warsaw embassy on suspicion of being involved in espionage, which, according to experts, drastically reduced the ability of Russia to obtain information from Poland. EFE

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