Ex Swedish agent sentenced to life in prison for spying for

Ex-Swedish agent sentenced to life in prison for spying for Russia

The Swedish judiciary on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment a former Swedish secret service agent who was sentenced to almost ten years for “serious espionage” in favor of Russia.

His younger brother, who was also charged in the same trial in a Stockholm court, also sentenced him to nine years and 10 months in prison for “aggravated espionage,” the court said in a statement.

“The brothers, in a joint and coordinated manner, without authorization and with the aim of informing Russia and the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence, Note Security of Sweden),” the court said.

The case has been described as the biggest espionage scandal in Sweden’s recent history, a sign that Russian espionage has gotten to the heart of Swedish intelligence.

The older brother, Peyman Kia, 42, was on trial for collecting sensitive information between 2011 and 2021 which his younger brother then passed on to the GRU.

During this time, the accused served in particular with the Swedish security forces Säpo and with military intelligence.

The former agent “committed an act of espionage that falls into the most serious categories (…) and concerns issues of very high importance,” stressed Judge Måns Wigén.

His 35-year-old brother, Payam Kia, has been accused of helping him transmit this classified information.

The court found that despite “some missing pieces,” prosecutors had produced a “major conundrum” of evidence “clear enough for the defendants to be found guilty.”

He broadly followed the demands of the prosecutor, who had asked for life imprisonment for the eldest and at least 12 years for the younger.

Much of the process took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

The two men, who were arrested separately in late 2021, denied the allegations.