Great secrecy in the trial against the spy brothers: “Haven’t had a similar case in 20 years”

The younger brother arrived first. He shielded his face and was wearing the green prison clothes. Shortly afterwards, the older brother, the one who had been employed at S├Ąpo and Must, arrived wearing a suit.

It was the first time in over a year that the two so-called spy brothers, who had been in separate custody, got to see each other.

“Extremely sensitive data”

The trial that began at the Stockholm district court is very special. The media gathering was large – but most of it was held behind closed doors.

– This is a case that is unique in many ways. It is an unusual trial in that a similar case has not been on hand in Sweden for over 20 years, says prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist and continues:

– A security goal like this is, after all, a goal that is a balance between the transparency that the public can expect in public trials and the information that is the basis of this prosecution. This is extremely sensitive information.

“Very sensitive parts of the Swedish state”

The two brothers are suspected of having disclosed secret information to the Russian military security service GRU. There are extremely few people in Sweden who have access to the material that the court will have access to during the trial. Therefore, the prosecutors demanded closed doors after just one hour.

– When it comes to such sensitive information, it is simply required that the evidence be handled in a special way. Both during and after the trial, the information must be protected from disclosure. It’s basically about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, says Mats Ljungqvist.

Even the majority of the witnesses who will be called to the hearing are confidential.

– These are people who work in very sensitive parts of the Swedish state. It is about people who work within the Armed Forces and the Security Police. These are people who are very protective and these people’s names will be protected even after the trial.

The brothers deny any wrongdoing

The younger brother sat silently next to his lawyer the whole time. The older brother was more active, often talking to his lawyer or flipping through papers. Both deny wrongdoing.

– He has never acted to reach out to a foreign power. Nor has he ever for any such purpose acted in consultation with another person, says the elder brother’s lawyer.

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The one brother’s lawyer on his way into the courtroom on Friday. Photo: Police/Kina Pohjanen, SVT

The younger brother also denies that he allegedly had contact with the GRU and that he was paid to reveal secret information.

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