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Poland charges two Belarusian men with espionage

21.06.2023 15:00
Polish prosecutors have charged two Belarusian citizens based in Poland with spying for their country’s military intelligence agency, officials said on Wednesday.
Photo:PAP/Albert Zawada

The charges were brought by the Regional Prosecution Office in the western Polish city of Poznań, state news agency PAP reported.

Poland’s National Public Prosecutor's Office said in a statement that the two men were detained in April.

According to the evidence, the Belarusians had arrived in Poland under the pretext of taking up employment as professional drivers, the PAP news agency reported.

The National Public Prosecutor's Office said: “Based on the evidence gathered by the Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW) and on the evidence gathered by the prosecutors in the course of their investigation, it was established that, under the guise of taking up employment in Poland, the two men had taken part in the work of the Belarusian military intelligence.”

It added: “They were acquiring and collecting intelligence about the Polish Armed Forces, as well as facilities of critical importance to the defence of the country.”

The National Public Prosecutor's Office further said that the two Belarusian men had "focused their espionage activities on reconnaissance of important elements of the Polish Armed Forces and civilian transport infrastructure” in western Poland.        

At the request of the prosecution service, the men have been under detention since they were arrested in April, the PAP news agency reported. 

Prosecutors said they had brought the charges before the Regional Court in Poznań, with the suspects facing up to 10 years in prison.

The National Public Prosecutor's Office said the case was "another indictment involving espionage charges" in Poland in recent months.

Upsurge in Russian, Belarusian espionage in Poland 

The National Public Prosecutor's Office said: “Since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine, Belarus has stepped up its espionage activities in Poland, as reflected in successive proceedings into crimes involving work carried out on behalf of Russian and Belarusian intelligence services.”

In January, Polish prosecutors charged a Russian man and a Belarusian national with having carried out espionage activities for the Russian military intelligence, the PAP news agency reported.

The two suspects are thought to have been active between 2017 and April 2022, focusing their spying on Polish Army units in northeastern Poland, officials said. 

In February, a Russian national was charged with spying for Moscow between 2015 and April 2022 by "conducting the reconnaissance of military units in northeastern Poland,” according to the PAP news agency.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 483 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAPgov.pl