Minister confirms spying suspect was national railways employee

Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis on Wednesday confirmed that Aleksandrs Krasnopjorovs, an employee of Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railways), was the person detained on spying suspicions but rejected the allegations that the man had been innocently snapping pictures of NATO equipment.

"I do not think that the detained employee of the state-owned railway company Latvijas Dzelzcels was innocently snapping pictures of NATO equipment," Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity) said in the interview to the morning news program of the public Latvian Television.

Kozlovskis was referring to claims by pro-Russia activist Vladimirs Lindermans that Krasnopjorovs had taken pictures of NATO equipment as it was delivered to Latvia by rail and had posted the pictures on social networking sites or sent them to some persons in Russia.

The court looked into the suspect's activities and ruled that he should remain in custody, the minister said.

He said that the suspect had been spying for some third country, i.e., a country that is not an EU member state, but refused to identify the country or to disclose other details because the investigation was continuing.

The minister voiced hopes that the investigation would be completed soon and the case would be put before the court. Also, Kozlovskis hopes that this would create a precedent which would keep other individuals from engaging in similar activities.

The Security Police in November arrested a resident of Latvia on suspicion of espionage.

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