Three people arrested on suspicion of espionage

Latvia's Security Police (DP) has arrested three people suspected of espionage on behalf of an unnamed foriegn power, the agency said November 28.

"On October 17, 2018, the DP initiated criminal proceedings against actions directed against the Republic of Latvia, which may have been carried out with the aim of helping a foreign country," the DP said, citing Section 80 of the Criminal Law (action directed against the independence of the Republic of Latvia, sovereignty, territorial unity, state power or state machinery, committed by an organized group), and Article 81.1 (action in order to help a foreign state or foreign organization to compromise the independence of the Republic of Latvia, sovereignty, territorial integrity, state power, state apparatus or state security).

"As a result of the criminal proceedings started, on November 23 three persons were arrested, and the DP issued a sanctioned search of objects related to the detainees," the security service said, adding that though they had the status of suspects, they were not being held in custody though they were subject to "non-custodial security instruments".

None of the suspects were named. Nor were details such as their ages or citizenship status given, and nor was the foreign power for which they are suspected of working specified. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further details would be provided at present, the DP added. 

By Wednesday evening, unofficial information obtained by LTV named the three suspects as people linked to Russian-language website imhoclub.lv: the editor of the portal Jurijs Aleksejevs, writer and poet Dmitrijs Sustretovs (better known under the pseudonym Dmitrijs  Sumarokovs) and website administrator Pyotr Pogorodny.  

Aleksejevs, in a conversation with LTV's Panorama news show, confirmed that he was indeed detained with his colleagues within the framework of this criminal procedure, but denied his guilt.

LSM has previously reported on Aleksejevs' activities in another context, when he was arrested in Kosovo.

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