Two Russian spies were exposed in Slovenia

Last December, two people were detained in the center of Ljubljana on suspicion of espionage. The operation was led by the Ljubljana District Prosecutor’s Office based on a report by the Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency (Sova). Unofficially, it became known that both detainees are Russian spies.

“At the District State Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana, we received a message from the Intelligence and Security Service of Slovenia, on the basis of which pre-trial proceedings were initiated,” the Ljubljana Prosecutor’s Office answered our question about whether there was a Russian spy. arrested in the capital of Slovenia. “According to the decision of the court, criminal proceedings have been lawfully started, which are ongoing. Both defendants, who were deprived of their liberty on December 5, 2022, have been remanded in custody,” the prosecutor’s office explained, but could not provide more information. in connection with data confidentiality.

Who were the spies?

As it became known unofficially, both detainees had citizenship and passports from third countries, so they did not introduce themselves as citizens of Russia. A company was opened in Slovenia, which was supposed to officially deal with the resale of antiques. The company had offices in an office building in the center of Ljubljana, where they were also imprisoned.

It was not possible to find out for which Russian special service or for which special service the arrested person should work. According to unofficial information, the discovered cell of spies from Ljubljana allegedly conducts operations not only in Slovenia but also abroad.

How did they find the spy?

As the prosecutor’s office confirmed, and we already mentioned in the article, law enforcement and judicial authorities in Slovenia were informed by Sova about the activities of the two spies. As it became known unofficially, the operation was to be carried out in cooperation with foreign special services.

What will happen to the spies?

As the prosecutor’s office explained, both detainees are currently in custody. The prosecutor’s office did not inform us whether they are cooperating with law enforcement agencies in Slovenia. It is also unclear whether the two spies will appear in the dock before Slovenian judges. If the two spies are tried in Slovenia, they face up to eight years in prison, according to the indictment.

The prosecutor’s office prosecutes both persons under the third part of Article 358 of the Criminal Code, which provides:

Anyone who joins the foreign intelligence service specified in the previous paragraph or supports its work shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of six months to five years.

In addition to espionage, the Slovenian prosecutor’s office also charges the two arrested with checking false content (Article 253 of the Criminal Code), which carries an additional penalty of up to three years in prison.

What we don’t know yet

Many questions about the arrest remain open. How long did the spy cell operate in Ljubljana? What operations did they conduct in Slovenia and in which foreign countries did “Ljubljan” spies operate? How did they finance the operations and were there only two spies in Ljubljana? Are there other persons under investigation, perhaps also Slovenian citizens?

We are trying to get answers to the above questions from competent law enforcement agencies, ministries, and agencies.

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