Vilnius Regional Judge Stasys Lemežis has been removed from hearing the case of Lithuanian army paramedic Andrei Oshurkov who is suspected of having spied for Belarus.
Andrei Oshurkov
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The judge had sanctioned a pre-trial investigation action and, under the law, in such cases he cannot take part in the case hearing. He will be replaced by a new judge.

On Thursday, Vilnius Regional Court's jury of three judges planned to hear the case behind closed doors. Prosecutor Redas Savickas from the Prosecutor General's Office told BNS that when handing over the case to court he asked for it to be heard behind closed door due to the presence of classified documents in the case.

Ahead of the Thursday hearing, Judge Virginija Švedienė announced the case would be heard behind closed doors.

The Lithuanian State Security Department said last December that Osurkov was recruited by the Chief Intelligence Board of the Belarusian Armed Forces' General Staff and infiltrated into the Lithuanian army to perform specific tasks.

He is suspected to have provided information for five years and received financial reward for his services.

Surkov has pleaded guilty, his lawyer and relative Viktor Osurkov told journalists on Thursday following the first court hearing.

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