Russia hands married couple long jail terms for spying for Latvia

·1-min read

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A Russian court sentenced a married couple in the Kaliningrad region to long jail terms on Thursday after finding them guilty of spying for Latvia, the FSB security service said, saying the pair had been found guilty of state treason.

The wife, Antonina Zimina, who received 13 years, was recruited by Latvia's security services in 2012 while travelling abroad, the FSB said in a statement. She then started to gather classified information and hand it over to Latvia, it said.

Her husband, Konstantin Antonets, got 12.5 years in jail. The FSB said Antonets had been recruited as a spy by his wife in 2015 and had stolen information from his then employer -- the Kaliningrad region's economics ministry -- and passed it over to Latvia.

The couple denied any wrongdoing and will appeal the verdict, their lawyer, Mikhail Bayev, told the MBKH online news site.

Their case, which was held behind closed doors, has previously made headlines in Russia with reports that state prosecutors had accused them of sharing a photograph with Latvia of an FSB officer who had attended their wedding.

There was no mention of that alleged incident in the FSB's statement on Thursday.

Kaliningrad is a heavily militarised Russian region that lies on the Baltic Sea between EU members Lithuania and Poland. Moscow captured the region from Germany towards the end of World War Two.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova/Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)

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