Lithua­nian pros­e­cu­tors want Rus­sian spy­ing sus­pect in prison

The Baltic Times - - OUR COMMENTARY - BNS/TBT Staff

A Vil­nius court has com­pleted hear­ing the spy­ing case of high-rank­ing Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer Niko­lai Filipchenko whom pros­e­cu­tors want found guilty and sent to prison for 10 years and six months. The panel of judges should hand down the rul­ing on July 7.

Se­nior state pros­e­cu­tor Jus­tas Lau­cius said Vil­nius pros­e­cu­tors wanted Filipchenko to spend the first five years in prison and the re­main­ing term in a pen­i­ten­tiary. The pros­e­cu­tor be­lieves the Rus­sian cit­i­zen should be found guilty on all charges, how­ever, re­fused to elab­o­rate on the rea­sons for the sen­tence, as the case was heard be­hind closed doors.

Filipchenko has been held in Lukiskes Prison in cen­tral Vil­nius since April 29 of 2015.

The Rus­sian cit­i­zen is charged with at­tempt­ing to re­cruit of­fi­cers of the VIP Pro­tec­tion Depart­ment to plant bugs in the of­fice and res­i­dence of Lithua­nian Pres­i­dent Dalia Gry­bauskaite.

Filipchenko pleads not guilty and re­fused to tes­tify to the Vil­nius court, say­ing that he had done no harm to Lithua­nia.

Per­sons con­victed for spy­ing for Be­larus in Lithua­nia in­clude Ro­muald Lip­skij , former em­ployee of the state air traf­fic com­pany Oro Nav­i­gacija (Air Nav­i­ga­tion) sen­tenced to five years in prison, and former army para­medic An­drey Osurkov sen­tenced to three years in prison. In Fe­bru­ary, a Si­au­liai court sen­tenced former Lithua­nian Air Force Avi­a­tion Base of­fi­cer, Cap­tain Serge­jus Pusi­nas, and Rus­sian cit­i­zen Sergey Moiseyenko to five and 10.5 years, re­spec­tively, for spy­ing for the Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence. The two men have taken the ver­dict to the Court of Ap­peals, which has not yet heard their ap­peals.

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