Trial starts in Moscow for suspected Polish secret services agent

A Russian army officer implicated in the spy affair in Belarus has been facing charges in Russia. The trial in Moscow district military court is being held behind closed doors as it involves state secrets. According to investigation, citizen of Russia major Sergei Yurenya for money, to the detriment of external security of the country, gathered and transferred the Polish secret services information on disposition and arms of some army units of the Moscow military district, radio Ekho Moskvy reports. The case concerning the officer was initiated in March. During preliminary investigation major Yurenya has pled himself guilty.

On September 14, Belarus' Supreme Court convicted four army officers of spying for Poland and jailed them for up to 10 years. A 10-year sentence was handed down to Vladimir Ruskin, convicted on a further charge of organizing espionage activity. The three others -- Sergei Kornelyuk, Pavel Petkevich and Viktor Bogdan -- received seven years in a labor camp. All were discharged from the military and stripped of their ranks. Security officials in Belarus say the accused gathered information about a joint Belarussian-Russian air defence system, called the S-300. Polish diplomats in Minsk attempted to downplay the incident, saying they were unable to comment due to insufficient information about the detention and the trial.