Life imprisonment for gross espionage

Published 25 May 2023

On 25 May 2023, one individual was convicted of gross espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Svea Court of Appeal. He was also convicted of unauthorised handling of secret information. The Swedish Security Service ran the investigation into this matter.

In January 2023, another individual was convicted of gross espionage and sentenced to nine years and ten months’ imprisonment by the Stockholm City Court in the same case.

In its judgement, the Svea Court of Appeal wrote, among other things, that the crime is to be regarded as gross. The information covered by the indictment was obtained, transmitted, and divulged for the purpose of the Russian intelligence service GRU. The judgment states that the criminal activity had been going on between 2011 and 2017, and that the information was obtained when one of the men was employed by the Swedish Armed forces in 2011-2014 and by the Swedish Security Service in 2014-2015.

It was the Swedish Security Service that identified the former employee following extensive intelligence work based on the intelligence information that someone in the Swedish intelligence community had offered information to a foreign power. A criminal investigation was initiated in 2017, headed by two National Security Unit prosecutors.

Security and intelligence services are a prioritised target for certain foreign powers, and the intelligence threat is high. Russia is one of the countries that pose the greatest security threat to Sweden. For example, Russia engages in cyber espionage, gathers intelligence via human sources, and carries out other security-threatening activities.


 25 May 2023

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