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Two Swedish males charged with spying for Russia go on trial


STOCKHOLM — A trial opened in Sweden Friday for 2 Iranian-born Swedish brothers charged with spying for Russia and its navy intelligence service GRU for a decade.

Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35, appeared earlier than the Stockholm District Court to face prices of getting labored collectively to move data to Russia between Sept. 28, 2011, and Sept. 20, 2021.

Between 2014 and 2015, Peyman Kia labored for Sweden’s home intelligence company but in addition for the nation’s armed forces. Swedish prosecutors allege that the information they gave the Russians originated from a number of authorities inside the Swedish safety and intelligence service, identified by its acronym SAPO.

Swedish media reported that Peyman Kia labored for the armed forces’ international protection intelligence company, identified in Sweden by its acronym MUST, and labored with a high secret unit inside the company that handled Swedish spies overseas.

Intelligence professional Joakim von Braun informed Swedish broadcaster SVT that despite the fact that many particulars stay unknown, it gave the impression to be one among most damaging instances of espionage in Sweden’s historical past as a result of the lads compiled an inventory of all the staff inside SAPO.

“That alone is a big problem because Russian intelligence focuses on human sources,” von Braun mentioned.

“The material is the absolute most secret material available,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist informed courtroom. “It is an unusual trial in that a similar case has not appeared in Sweden in over 20 years.”

One of Sweden’s largest spy scandals came about in the course of the Cold War when Stig Bergling, a Swedish safety officer who labored for each SAPO and the armed forces, bought secrets and techniques to the Soviet Union. He was sentenced in 1979 to life imprisonment on comparable prices and later escaped whereas serving his time, returned voluntarily to Sweden in 1994. He died in his native nation in January 2015.

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Peyman Kia was arrested in September 2021 and his brother in November 2021. Both denied any wrongdoing, their protection attorneys informed the courtroom.

Payam Kia, 35, helped his brother and “dismantled and broke a hard drive which was later found in a trash can” when his brother was arrested, in accordance with cost sheet obtained by The Associated Press.

The naturalized Swedish residents face sentences as much as life imprisonment if convicted.

In a separate, unrelated case, Swedish authorities on Thursday launched one among two individuals arrested this week on suspicion of spying in opposition to Sweden and one other, unnamed international energy.

The launched particular person stays a suspect and authorities didn’t clarify why the opposite individual was saved in custody.

The two had been arrested Tuesday in a predawn operation within the Stockholm space. Authorities have given few particulars in regards to the case, however Swedish media cited witnesses who described elite police rappelling from two Black Hawk helicopters to arrest them.

According to Swedish studies, the 2 are a pair and are each Russians who arrived in Sweden within the late Nineteen Nineties. The AP couldn’t independently affirm these studies.



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