Former Latvian Railways employee sentenced for espionage

Aleksandrs Krasnopjorovs, a former employee at Latvian Railways, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and 60 hours of community service by a district court, reports LSM's Latvian-language service. 

Should the sentence enter into force, Krasnopjorovs would have to spend a further four months in jail, as he has spent 14 months behind bars awaiting court.

He was sentenced for espionage and storing small quantities of military-grade explosives. According to the prosecutor, Krasnopjorovs sent videos of trains carrying NATO equipment to a contact in Russia's Kaliningrad region.

Krasnopjorovs' lawyer told LTV that the ruling will be appealed as there's lack of evidence that his client had handed information to Russian secret services. According to the defense, Krasnopjorovs, a military veteran, had sent information to his contact from the military grade, as they had both served in Afghanistan and considered the US to be the enemy.

The prosecutor had asked to sentence Krasnopjorovs to three years in prison.

Krasnopjorovs did not comment the ruling. 

As reported by LSM, Krasnopjorovs was recently featured in a piece by the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism, re:Baltica. 

Speaking to re:Baltica, Krasnopjorovs--the only person officially accused of spying for a foreign power since the restoration of Latvian independence--denied the charges, saying: "“Someone got me because I bothered them. It was a political vendetta."

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