The District Court in Warsaw has refused a repeated appeal to release Belarusian Sergei M., who was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for spying against Poland.
Sergei M. has been imprisoned for almost four years now and has the right for an early release because he already served more than half of the sentence.
Judge Marcin Lochowski found that the Belarusian's rehabilitation is running smoothly, but it must be continued. "There is no reason to think that the offender would not commit a crime again," the judge commented.
It is the second time that the court has refused to release Sergei M. The Belarusian's lawyer, Magdalena Bentkowska filed the first motion in January, and did not hide her amazement that her client was not released, saying that she will file another motion in six months.
Caught in a trap?
In September 2009, the District Court in Warsaw sentenced 43-year-old Sergei M. to five and a half years in prison for trying to acquire classified documents about the Polish Foreign Ministry.
Sergei M. was arrested in Lithuania in November 2006 and extradited to Poland a year later.
While announcing the sentence the court revealed that in 2005 Sergei M. tried to recruit the Polish consul in Minsk, Krzysztof G., offering him money in exchange for classified information to be passed on to Belarusian intelligence.
Sergei M. wanted to receive a list of the Polish Foreign Ministry's employees with their telephone numbers, a list of people who were to go on diplomatic missions, details about Foreign Ministry's secret office, including a list of its employees and the layout of rooms, as well as Foreign Ministry's files on Russia and Belarus.
During a meeting in Prague, Sergei M. paid Krzysztof G. 740 euro for a promise to provide him with the requested information. Sergei M. claims he is innocent and fell victim to Krzysztof G.'s provocation.
According to the weekly Polityka magazine, Krzysztof G. used to work for the Polish communist secret service and later was recruited by the State Protection Office which used him as bait. As Polish consul to Belarus, Krzysztof G. consciously played a game with Sergei M. and asked him to come to Lithuania, where the Belarusian spy was arrested. (mg/jb)