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Iran-born brothers charged in Sweden with spying for Russia

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Two Iranian-born brothers had been dropped at courtroom in Sweden for allegedly spying for Russia and its navy intelligence service GRU for almost a decade, prosecutors stated Friday. 

One of many males labored for Sweden’s home intelligence company.

Authorities recognized the 2 males as Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35. 

The brothers had been charged with aggravated espionage, whereas one in every of them was additionally indicted for the alleged gross unauthorised dealing with of secret data. It was not instantly clear which of the 2 was being charged with the latter.

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Each resist life imprisonment if convicted. A life sentence in Sweden typically means a minimal of 20-25 years in jail.

“It has been a posh investigation regarding against the law that may be very troublesome to research and the suspicion issues very critical criminality directed towards Sweden’s intelligence and safety system,” Nationwide Safety Unit chief prosecutor Per Lindqvist stated.

“The data that has been obtained, transmitted and divulged might, by the truth that if it comes into the palms of a international energy, lead to detriment to Sweden’s safety,” Lindqvist stated in a press release.

Crimes ‘very critical’, prosecutor says

In response to the cost sheet, the lads have “collectively” handed data to GRU throughout the interval between 28 September 2011 and 20 September 2021.

It added that the info had been acquired by one of many males’s work inside Sweden’s home intelligence company and the nation’s armed forces. 

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The information originates from a number of authorities inside the Swedish safety and intelligence companies.

His brother helped with the contacts with “Russia and the GRU together with issues of give up of data and receipt of compensation.” 

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In response to the costs, Payam Kia “dismantled and broke a tough drive which was later present in a trash can” when his brother was arrested.

The case has been investigated by Sweden’s home safety service, SAPO. Sweden’s prosecution authority stated a lot of the knowledge within the preliminary investigation is secret and couldn’t supply particulars.

SAPO stated it turned suspicious of the previous worker, and a preliminary investigation was launched in 2017. 

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Lindqvist stated the inquiry was began “as a result of there was a suspicion that there was a mole, an insider” inside Sweden’s intelligence group.

The home spy company confirmed that Peyman Kia had labored there between 2014 and 2015, and that earlier than that had labored within the Swedish armed forces. 

“It’s throughout these employments that the suspected acquisition should have taken place,” Lindqvist stated.

Swedish media stated that he labored for the armed forces’ international defence intelligence company MUST and reportedly labored with a top-secret unit beneath it coping with Swedish spies overseas. He later labored for Swedish Customs.

“The suspected crime is a danger that each safety service is effectively conscious of, though we do all the things to counter it,” stated Anders Kassman at SAPO.

Peder Ohlsson, head of the armed forces’ press division, known as the crimes “very critical”.

Swedish Protection Minister Pål Jonson stated he had been knowledgeable of the case however declined to remark.

The brothers turned Swedish residents in 1994. The youthful brother reportedly labored for SAPO, Swedish media reported.

They had been arrested in September and November 2021. Each have denied any wrongdoing, Swedish media reported.

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