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Home News Russia jails ex-military engineer over Swedish job bid

Russia jails ex-military engineer over Swedish job bid

Published on 21/09/2015

A Russian court on Monday sentenced a former military intelligence engineer to 14 years in jail for treason after he wrote to a Swedish organisation seeking a job.

Gennady Kravtsov was accused of passing state secrets to Sweden by sending his resume in 2010. He was arrested on charges of treason in May 2014 as part of a classified case.

Kravtsov’s defence team has said he worked for the Main Intelligence Directorate, the intelligence branch of the Russian military, for 15 years and quit in 2005.

In a statement sent to Russian news agencies, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that Kravtsov applied for work with the “Radio-technical centre of the Swedish defence ministry” in which he “passed information about activities of the Russian space intelligence.”

This information contained “state secrets”, thereby threatening Russia’s security, the FSB said.

The Swedish defence ministry controls an agency called the National Defence Radio Establishment, though it was not clear whether this was the organisation where Kravtsov sought employment.

The trial was closed to the media and the judge sentenced him to serve 14 years in a strict penal colony.

His lawyer Ivan Pavlov said the prosecution based the case on classified regulations that were not shown to the defence, some of which went into effect after his client quit the military, and that he had been forced to “work blind”.

Kravtsov was not given his own case materials due to their “secret” nature, Pavlov wrote on his Facebook page ahead of the verdict.

“We prepared over a hundred questions to expert witnesses… but were not allowed to ask them, they denied calling any experts to the stand,” he wrote.

Russia has charged an increasing number of its citizens with high treason in recent months amid heightened tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Among other high-profile treason cases was that of a provincial housewife and mother of seven who phoned the Ukrainian embassy worried that soldiers stationed in her town may be sent there. The charges were later dropped after a public outcry.