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Espionage trial of former Saeima deputy continues

In the trial of former Saeima member Jānis Ādamsons, accused of espionage, continued this week, according to Latvian Television's program De Facto on April 30. The prosecution believes that Ādamsons provided information to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) over a long period.

Unusually for this type of criminal case, the court hearings are open. The politician was arrested in June 2021, as previously reported. The Saeima stripped him of his immunity from prosecution so he could face charges. 

Genādijs Silonovs, a former employee of the Soviet State Security Committee in Latvia, is accused together with the politician, whom the investigators link to the Russian FSB. He joins the sessions remotely from custody in the Central Prison.   

During the investigation, evidence was obtained that Ādamsons has been meeting with Silonov since at least 2015. Law enforcement officers recorded more than 100 meetings.

Ādamsons, a long-time senior member of the Harmony political party, is said to have given the Russian citizen verbally and in writing information that was both publicly available and known to him in his privileged capacity as a Saeima deputy. He formerly sat on the Saeima Commission for Defense, Home Affairs and Prevention of Corruption and was head of the Saeima deputies' group for cooperation with the Russian parliament. 

In court, Ādamsons categorically denied passing on information to the Federal Security Service. He did not try to hide his acquaintance with Silonovs, saying they talked about a lot of things, starting with hockey and ending with foreign policy. They also discussed Ādamson's idea to extend the "Rail Baltica" railway line to Murmansk or Archangelsk.

According to the indictment, Ādamsons traveled to Moscow at least three times to meet with persons linked to Silonovs. Ādamsons explained that he visited Moscow because he led a group of deputies in the Saeima to promote cooperation with the Russian parliament. 

"Usually our meetings took place in the sauna," said Ādamsons, adding that Silonov's role was to coordinate these meetings. Ādamsons refused to give the names of these people in open court.

According to the prosecutor, Ādamsons received compensation for espionage with the money transferred to his daughter in Russia. Ādamsons denies this and says he was transferring money to Silonovs to pass on to his daughter so that he did not have to pay a commission to the bank.

For his part, the co-defendant Silonovs, denies any connection with Russia's Federal Security Service and the transfer of payments linked to espionage.

The trial continues.


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