The Lithuanian Court of Appeals on Tuesday increased the sentence for Romuald Lipskij, a former employee of the state company Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation) convicted of spying for Belarus, to five years.
Romuald Lipskij
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The earlier ruling of a Vilnius court to put Lipskij in prison for three years and three months has been replaced with a five-year sentence. An appeal against the new sentence can still be filed with the Supreme Court of Lithuania.

The Prosecutor General's Office had asked that Lipskij be sentenced to eight years in prison, while the convict wanted to be cleared of all charges.

The Court of Appeals added new circumstances to the indictment, which were earlier rejected by a Vilnius court. These included a longer duration for the criminal deeds and additional evidence about Lipskij's meetings and agreements with Belarusian intelligence officer Sergey Kurulenko.

Lipskij was charged with secretly photographing Air Navigation documents in his office and handing the information over to a Belarusian intelligence officer.

On Nov. 5 last year, the Vilnius court ruled that the Lithuanian citizen had not supplied any valuable information to Minsk and that law enforcement officers put Lipskij under surveillance for too long instead of preventing his crime, in this way allowing for the escape of Belarusian intelligence officer Sergey Kurulenko.

Judge Andrius Cininas then told journalists that Lipskij had taken "photos of three folders with certain communication schemes of Vilnius Airport and handed them over to a Belarusian intelligence officer."

"The sentence for Lipskij is close to minimum, as the documents he handed over have no significance for intelligence whatsoever," the judge added.

Lithuania has sentenced another person for spying for Belarus - former army paramedic Andrey Osurkov was sentenced to three years in March.

BNS
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