Sweden has indicted a 47-year old man for espionage. The person is suspected of meeting a Russian diplomat over a number of years with the purpose of providing information in return for money. The investigation has been undertaken by the Swedish Security Service under the direction of a prosecutor at the National Security Unit of the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
”As a consultant at his former workplaces, I allege that he has obtained material with the purpose of providing information to a foreign power, in this case Russia. He has been well-paid for this information, and this shows the value the Russians place on the information provided. The man was apprehended whilst meeting a Russian diplomat where he had just received 27 800 Swedish crowns from the diplomat,” says the prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist.
According to the indictment, the man has illegally transferred material from his work computer to his private computer and thereafter to USB memory sticks. In order to hide his activities from being logged by the IT system, he has also, amongst other things, photographed material from the screen of his work computer.
In the prosecutor’s view, this case concerns a crime that places Sweden’s security at risk.
”The investigators have put in a lot of time in order to understand the material so as to assess it from the perspective of Sweden’s security. It is important to emphasise that Sweden is the injured party in this case and not the companies. This is because the suspect originally had authorisation from his employers to access the material in his position. To disseminate such company secrets which a person has access to in their position is not a crime in itself. It can, however, be espionage,” says Mats Ljungqvist.
The maximum punishment for the crime of espionage is six years’ imprisonment.
”My view is that the crime is serious and, if convicted, the suspect could expect a lengthy sentence,” concludes Mats Ljungqvist.
Case reference number 18657-20, Gothenburg District Court.