Edition 1437
19 August 2017
Edition: 1437

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Portuguese intelligence officer and a Russian charged with espionage

by TPN/PA, in News · 15-06-2017 12:31:00 · 0 Comments

A Portuguese intelligence official and a Russian citizen have been charged with espionage, violation of official secrecy, and respectively receiving and giving bribes.

The two accused are Frederico Carvalhão Gil, an officer of Portugal’s Security Information Service (SIS) and Sergey Nicolaevich Pozdnyakov, a Russian national said to be a staff member of the Russian Federation’s SVR external service.
According to the statement, Gil was recruited by the SVR to supply, in exchange for sums of money, state secrets to which he had access because of his functions.
Investigators established that there were “three meetings between the accused SIS staffer and the accused SVR official,” the statement says, citing the charge sheet issued by the Central Department of Penal Investigation and Action (DCIAP) as part of ‘Operation Top Secret’, as the investigation has been dubbed.
The attorney-general’s office states that, having learned in advance of the plans for a meeting between the two suspects in Rome on 21 May of 2016, public prosecutors sent a formal request to the Italian authorities beforehand, asking them to monitor the suspects’ movements and observe the meeting in the Italian capital.
With this aim in view, three Portuguese detectives from the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) force travelled to Rome to work with Italian police, and European arrest warrants were issued against the suspects. Once the meeting was confirmed, the Italian authorities proceeded to search and detain the suspects and seize documents, money and other objects they had on them and in the hotel rooms where they were staying.
According to the statement, the SVR officer had on him a handwritten document that was given to him by Gil, containing information that was deemed to be covered by official secrecy. Gil, meanwhile, was carrying various documents and objects, as well as the sum of €10,000 that had been handed over to him by the SVR officer in return for the information that he had passed on. Under the European arrest warrant, Gil was handed over to the Portuguese authorities and questioned by a judge, who ordered him to be held on remand. He was later released to house arrest with an electronic tag.
As for the SVR officer, the Italian court handling the case on 14 July of 2016 declined to hand him over to the Portuguese authorities and he was later freed, allowing him to return to his homeland. According to Portugal’s attorney-general, his whereabouts are unknown.

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Edition 1437
19 August 2017
Edition: 1437

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter