Swedish court releases suspected Russian spy from custody

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Swedish court releases suspected Russian spy from custody
A police cordon outside the man's home in a Stockholm suburb. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

A Russian-Swedish businessman accused of passing Western technology to Russia has been released from custody pending the verdict on October 26th.


Sergei Skvortsov has been held in detention since his arrest in a spectacular dawn raid on his Stockholm home in November 2022.

He faces up to five years in prison for "unlawful intelligence activities" if convicted.

The Stockholm district court said Monday it had "decided that there is no longer reason to keep the defendant in custody."

Often when a person is released ahead of the verdict, it is a sign that the court is either going to acquit or lower the sentence.

But Skvortsov's lawyer Ulrika Borg told AFP this should not be interpreted as a sign of a future acquittal.

While "it is always gratifying when a client who denies any wrongdoing is released ... it is impossible to predict whether the court is going to acquit him", she said.


The 60-year-old has lived in Sweden since the 1990s, running import-export companies.

He is charged with two counts of "unlawful intelligence activities" against the United States and Sweden for over a decade until his arrest in November 2022.

Prosecutors have sought a sentence of up to five years for Skvortsov, arguing he was a "procurement agent" for a vast Russian organisation acquiring technology off-limits to Moscow due to sanctions.

According to experts quoted in the Swedish media, the technology concerned mainly electronic devices that can be used in nuclear weapons research.

Skvortsov maintains he is a legitimate businessman.

He and his wife were arrested in a raid on their home in the Stockholm suburb of Nacka, when two Black Hawk helicopters and an elite commando force swooped down on their house.

His wife was later released and allegations against her dismissed.


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