Sweden is trying two citizens suspected of spying for Russian intelligence
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42-year-old Peyman Kia and 35-year-old Payam Kia appeared before the Stockholm District Court on Friday. He faces charges of spying for Russia’s GRU from September 2011 to September 2021.

In the past, the older of the brothers worked in Swedish foreign military intelligence and the army, and was supposed to supply Russia with information from several state institutions united under the acronym SAPO (Swedish Security Service). According to Swedish media, Peyman Kia worked with a secret intelligence unit that was in charge of Swedish agents deployed abroad.

The most serious in history

Although more detailed information is not yet known about the espionage case, it was apparently one of the most serious in the history of the Swedish security and espionage agencies. According to Swedish expert Joakim von Braun, the brothers compiled a name list of all SAPO workers.

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“That in itself is a big problem because Russian intelligence is targeting human resources,” explained von Braun.

“This material is the most highly classified it can be,” investigator Mats Ljungqvist told the court, according to the AP, about the subject of the two brothers’ espionage. He added that a similar case had not occurred in over twenty years.

In 1979, SAPO and armed forces operative Stig Bergling was sentenced to life in prison for delivering secret information to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Both brothers also face life in prison if convicted. However, the trial is just beginning.

In recent weeks, European states have been wary of security threats due to the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Investigators confirmed last week that it was sabotage and not an accident. The remains of explosives were found on the damaged gas pipelines. But the investigation has not yet revealed the culprit of the sabotage.

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