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Moscow court upholds arrest of Ukrainian accused of spying

October 27, 2016, 13:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On September 30 Ukrainian citizen Roman Sushchenko was arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage

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© Dmitriy Serebriakov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the arrest of Ukrainian national Roman Sushchenko accused of spying in Russia, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"The ruling of the Lefortovsky court remains unchanged, the complaint of the defense lawyers is rejected," the judge said. The court session was held behind the closed doors.

The defense lawyers had filed an appeal against the ruling asking for a milder measure of restriction for Sushchenko. The Lefortovsky court earlier arrested the Ukrainian until November 30 on suspicion of espionage.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) earlier said that Col. Sushchenko, a staff member of the main intelligence department of Ukraine’s defense ministry, was detained in Moscow on September 30 "while on a spy mission." Sushchenko collected secret information on Russia’s Armed Forces and the National Guard and the disclosure could have undermined Russia’s defense capabilities, it said.

Lawyer Mark Feygin said his client is a reporter of the Ukrinform news agency in Paris and he came to Moscow on vacation to visit his relatives. The Ukrainian news agency confirmed this information saying that Sushchenko had been a staff member since 2002 and was "a journalist with a long-term impeccable professional reputation."

The defense lawyers plan to bring the case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). "We will lodge a complaint against his arrest with the ECtHR, the case lacks evidence of his guilt," Feygin said, asking to change the pre-trial restriction measure to house arrest.

Sushchenko faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. The Ukrainian pleads not guilty to the charges.

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