The Austrian court pleaded guilty, but actually freed from punishment 71-year-old retired army Colonel, who for 25 years was spying in favor of Russia
The court in Salzburg sentenced the Colonel of the army of Austria to three years in prison on charges of espionage in favor of Russia. After the verdict, the 71-year-old spy was released from pre-trial detention, according to local newspaper Kronen Zeitung.
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According to prosecutors, the military were spying for the Russian GRU at least 25 years – since 1987, and received for his services to the “hundreds of thousands of euros”. The Colonel denied the charges, claiming that only gave information that was already public.
The court found the Colonel guilty of treason, work in favor of/assistance of a foreign intelligence service against the interests of Austria and intentional disclosure of military secrets. Despite the gravity of the charges, which carry up to 10 years of imprisonment, the court sentenced him to three years and immediately freed. The judge found that the man is no longer a danger and during the process has already served half that time in jail.
“The court took into consideration the recognition of the facts, the venerable age of the defendant and lack of previous convictions as a mitigating factor. The court came to the conclusion that the defendant is no longer a threat,” – said the representative of the court.
The convict goes free, if the prosecution does not appeal the verdict.