A court in Lithuania has sentenced two of its citizens to prison terms on charges of spying for Russia.
A court in the Baltic Sea port city of Klaipeda on November 12 sentenced Aleksejus Greicius to four years in prison and Mindaugas Tunikaitis to 18 months in prison after finding them guilty of collecting data for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
Greicius, a public figure and managing director of the Baltic Youth Association who is known for his pro-Russian views, pleaded not guilty, while Tunikaitis pleaded guilty.
The trial was held behind closed doors because of national security concerns in the former Soviet republic.
Investigators said the two defendants did not know each other, but were in contact with same FSB agent in recent years.
Greicius is a grandson of Jonas and Marijona Greicius, who the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” for saving a Jew during the Nazi occupation in the 1940s.
Since 2014, when Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its backing of separatists in a war in eastern Ukraine raised concerns among some other former Soviet republics, Lithuanian courts have convicted several people of spying for Russia or its close ally, Belarus.