Russian citizens accused of espionage in Georgia
Georgia, Tbilisi, July 7 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
Nine people accused of spying for Russia were convicted by the Batumi City Court. The Batumi court told Trend that four Russian citizens and five Georgian citizens were found guilty of espionage. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 11 to 14 years.
The most severe was the sentence against Russian citizen Yuri Skrylnikov. According to Georgian security services, he was a messenger between the General Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the Russian Army and the Main Investigation Department in Georgia. He was sentenced to 14 years.
According to the investigation, the Russian agents, including some of Georgia's Air Force pilots, had been passing military information on to Moscow for several years - even during fighting in August 2008.
On October 29 the Georgian Interior Ministry announced the completion of the Enver operation in Adjara and the arrest of 13 people in Georgia suspected of spying for Russia. Four of the detainees were found to be Russian citizens.
Deputy Director of the Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry Otar Ordzhonikidze said that the Intelligence Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry held a large-scale operation, which resulted in a network of individuals contacted with the Russian Main Investigation Department. He said that spies who were identified received over four years in 2006.
The trial began on April 15 against 13 detainees. However, the closed trial of nine people accused of spying for Russia continued on June 29. They did not acknowledge their guilt.