STOCKHOLM (AP) — The trial opened Monday of a Russia-born Swedish citizen charged with collecting information for the Russian military intelligence service GRU for almost a decade.
Sergey Skvortsov, 60, is accused of “gross illegal intelligence activities against Sweden and against a foreign power," according to prosecutor Henrik Olin who has identified the foreign power as the United States.
Skvortsov was arrested in November together with his wife in a predawn operation in Nacka, outside Stockholm. Swedish media reported that elite police rappelled from two Black Hawk helicopters to arrest the couple.
Skvortsov has been in custody since his arrest and denies any wrongdoing, according to his defense lawyer, Ulrika Borg. His wife was released without charge following an investigation by Sweden’s security agency.
The trial is being held at the Stockholm District Court.
It is the second trial in recent years of people accused of spying on Sweden for Russia and its military intelligence service.
In May, Sweden’s highest court upheld the life sentence for the eldest of two Iranian-born Swedish brothers. Peyman Kia was sentenced to life in January in one of the Scandinavian country’s biggest espionage cases in decades. His brother, Payam Kia, was given nine years and 10 months. They were found guilty of having worked jointly to pass information to Russia between Sept. 28, 2011, and Sept. 20, 2021.