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Latvia jails former official for pro-Russia spying

by Rachel Amran November 10, 2023 3:39 AM 2 min read
Janis Adamsons, Latvia's former Interior Minister, was sentenced to jail for spying on behalf of the Russian Federation. (LTV / Vita Anstrate)
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A Riga City Court sentenced Janis Adamsons, Latvia's former Interior Minister, and a Russian accomplice, to jail for spying on behalf of the Russian Federation, Latvia's public broadcaster LSM reported on Nov. 9. Adamsons was accused of espionage, fraud, as well as the acquisition and storage of firearms and ammunition without permission.

The ex-deputy was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail. The second defendant, Russian citizen Gennady Silonov, was also found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison.

"Adamsons collected secret and unclassified information for the Russian secret services, in an illegal, systematic and targeted way," Riga City Court judge Erlens Ernstsons stated.

He was detained on suspicion of espionage in spring of 2021. Adamsons was reportedly able to transmit information of varying degrees of secrecy to Russia for four years.

According to the prosecution team, "Adamsons was not interested in collaborating with the Russian secret services for money. More plausibly, he did so out of ideological convictions,"

Adamsons, 67, worked as the head of Latvia's Interior Ministry between 1994-1995 and served as a lawmaker for six parliament terms before his arrest in 2021.

Gennady Silonov served in the Soviet KGB during the 1980s, the predecessor for the Russian Federation's FSB.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty.

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