Swedish justice on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment a former Swedish intelligence agent, convicted of “aggravated espionage” for the benefit of Russia for nearly ten years.
His younger brother, who was also on trial in the same trial in a Stockholm court, sentenced him to nine years and ten months in prison, also for “aggravated espionage”, the court announced in a statement.
“The brothers, in a joint and concerted manner, without authorization and with the aim of serving Russia and the GRU (Russian military intelligence, editor’s note), acquired, transmitted and disclosed information, the disclosure of which to a foreign power could harm the security of Sweden,” according to the court.
The case has been described as the biggest spy scandal in Sweden’s recent history, a sign of an infiltration of Russian espionage into the heart of Swedish intelligence.
The older brother, Peyman Kia, 42, was on trial for collecting sensitive information which his younger brother then passed on to the GRU, between 2011 and 2021.
During this period, the accused notably served in the Swedish security forces, Säpo, as well as in military intelligence.
The former agent “committed an act of espionage which falls into the most serious of categories (…) involving subjects of very high importance”, underlined judge Måns Wigén.
His 35-year-old brother, Payam Kia, was accused of having helped him in the transmission of this secret information.
The court found that, despite “a few missing pieces”, the prosecution had established “a large puzzle” of evidence, “clear enough for the defendants to be found guilty”.
He largely followed the requisitions of the prosecutor, who had demanded life for the eldest and at least 12 years in prison for the younger.
Much of the trial was held behind closed doors in the name of national security.
The two men, who had been arrested separately at the end of 2021, denied the charges.
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