Pensioner in Latvia held on suspicion of spying for Russia

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Latvia's Security Police has detained a retirement-age man on suspicion of spying for Russia, information obtained by the LETA news agency suggested October 22.

The arrest was made last week and the man has been remanded in custody, LETA said, without specifying its sources for such information or saying precisely what form the alleged espionage was supposed to have taken.

In recent years, the Security Police has initiated two probes against suspected spies who had been gathering information for Russia. This year, the Vidzeme district court in Madona handed down a suspended prison sentence to a Latvian citizen charged with spying for Russia.

The defendant, Juris Stilve was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended to three years and six months of probation. The man had remained in custody since December 2017.

Stilve pleaded guilty to all charges.

In another case, railway employee Aleksandrs Krasnopjorovs, accused of collecting military information for Russia, was sentenced to one year and six months in jail, as well as 60 hours of community work and a probation period for one year and six months. The jail term includes the time Krasnopjorovs spent in custody from October 2016 to January 2018, which means he will only have to spend three more months in jail.

However, Zemgale Regional Court is expected to rule on a protest lodged by the prosecution against that verdict.

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