RIGA: The Latvian State Security Service jointly with the Defense Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD) has taken two individuals into custody on suspicion of spying for Russian military intelligence for a lengthy period of time, the LETA Latvian news agency reported on Tuesday.
These two suspects were detained last year and, according to the Latvian authorities, they held meetings with members of Russian military intelligence in Russia disclosing classified information about the Latvian defense sector. They both have been labeled as suspects and were placed into custody as a security measure.
According to LETA, the arrest of these persons was conducted within the framework of two separate criminal cases.
The State Security Service turned over materials to the Prosecutor General’s Office of one of the criminal cases on December 30, 2021, requesting prosecution procedures be launched.
"Information obtained during the investigation shows that the person used the range of contacts established in his professional activities to obtain, compile, analyze and pass on to the Russian military intelligence information on the combat capabilities, procedures, plans and training of the National Armed Forces, defense procurement, and the activities of the NATO battle group in Latvia," the Latvian news agency reported.
During the procedural measures as part of the investigation, the State Security Service collected a massive amount of evidence, including documents and data carriers.
"In the second criminal case, the person involved is also suspected of long-term cooperation with the Russian military intelligence service, providing information relevant to Russia's military interests," according to LETA, further noting that "the State Security Service is not releasing any more information at the moment in the interests of the investigation."
On December 9, the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) gave the green light to criminally prosecute lawmaker Janis Adamsons upon a request from the General Prosecutor’s Office.
The Saeima stripped Adamsons of his legal immunity on June 10 due to suspicions of spying for Russia. Adamsons is a member of the Harmony social-democratic party, which defends the interests of the country’s Russian-speaking population. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Latvia filed a request to the parliament to search for and arrest the lawmaker.
Adamsons was put into custody on June 11, 2021 and released on bail on January 5, 2022 to the tune of 30,000 euro (almost $34,000).