Poland Charges Lawyer With Spying

Poland Charges Lawyer With Spying

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Poland has charged a Warsaw lawyer with dual Polish-Russian citizenship with spying for Russian military intelligence, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The lawyer is identified only as Stanislaw Sz., in line with Poland's privacy law. Polish media say he is the son of a former Russian national goalkeeper who settled in Poland in 1991 with his family.

Wlodzimierz Burkacki, head of a prosecutors' office in Warsaw, told The Associated Press that the man was charged with spying for the Russian military intelligence, or GRU, against Poland's interests, from 2012-2014. The indictment was sent to a Warsaw court in late April. The suspect could face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted. Apprehended in 2014, he remains under arrest.

It was not immediately clear when the court trial could open. A Polish army officer who was arrested at the same time as the lawyer is already standing trial before a military court in Warsaw, on suspicion of spying for Russia.

Polish media said Stanislaw Sz. worked for a lawyer's office that had a role in the construction of Poland's first liquid gas terminal in Szczecin, on the Baltic Sea, that will allow overseas gas imports and limit those from Russia.

He reportedly also attended sessions of parliamentary commissions for fuel markets.

Fuels and energy sources are issues of key strategic weight to Poland as it takes steps to cut its large dependence on Russian gas and oil imports, which Moscow has sometimes used as a tool of political pressure.

In a separate case, Poland has banned Russian journalist Leonid Sviridov from entering the country and the EU's Schengen passport-free travel zone until December 2020, according to attorney Jaroslaw Chelstowski who represents Sviridov in Poland. A reporter with the Kremlin-funded Rossiya Segodnya news service, Sviridov was expelled from Poland in December on suspicion of espionage.