COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Two Iranian-born brothers have been charged with aggravated espionage in Sweden for allegedly spying for Russia and its navy intelligence company GRU for round a decade, prosecutors mentioned on Friday. One of the boys labored for the Swedish home intelligence service.
Authorities recognized them as Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35. One of the brothers was additionally charged with alleged gross mishandling of categorised data. It wasn’t instantly clear which ones it was.
“It was a complex investigation into a crime that is very difficult to investigate and the suspicion relates to a very serious crime directed against Sweden’s intelligence and security system,” National Security Unit chief prosecutor Per Lindqvist mentioned.
“The information received, transmitted and disseminated, if it gets into the hands of a foreign power, could endanger the security of Sweden,” Lindqvist mentioned in an announcement.
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He later advised The Associated Press that the case concerned “extremely sensitive issues” however declined to elaborate.
According to the indictment accessible to the AP, the boys in the interval from 09.28. twentieth, 2021.
It added that the information was obtained by the work of one of many males inside Sweden’s inner intelligence service and the nation’s armed forces. The information comes from a number of companies inside the Swedish safety and intelligence service.
His brother helped with contacts with “Russia and the GRU, including issues of releasing information and receiving compensation.” According to the fees, Payam Kia “disassembled and destroyed a hard drive that was later found in a trash can” whereas arresting his brother.
The case was investigated by the Swedish state safety service SAPO. Swedish prosecutors mentioned a lot of the knowledge in the preliminary investigation was categorised and couldn’t give particulars.
SAPO mentioned it had turn out to be suspicious of the previous worker and a preliminary investigation was launched in 2017. Lindqvist mentioned the investigation was launched “because there was a suspicion that there was a mole, an insider” inside Swedish intelligence.
The home spy company confirmed that Peyman Kia labored there between 2014 and 2015 and earlier than that labored in the Swedish Armed Forces. “The alleged acquisition must have taken place during these activities.”
Swedish media mentioned he labored for the Foreign Defense Forces’ intelligence company MUST and reportedly labored with a top-secret unit underneath MUST that dealt with Swedish spies overseas. Later he labored for the Swedish customs.
“The alleged crime is a risk that every security service is aware of, although we are doing everything we can to counter it,” mentioned Anders Kassman of SAPO.
Peder Ohlsson, head of the Bundeswehr’s press division, known as the crimes “very serious”.
Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson mentioned he had been briefed on the case however declined to remark.
The brothers grew to become Swedish residents in 1994, and the each day Expressen quoted one of many males as saying he was fluent in Persian. The youthful brother has reportedly labored for SAPO, Swedish media reported.
They have been arrested in September and November 2021. Both have denied any wrongdoing, Swedish media reported. The brothers face life imprisonment if convicted. A life sentence in Sweden typically means at the very least 20-25 years in jail.
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