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OSCE mission interpreter sentenced to 13 years in prison in LPR for high treason

Maxim Petrov can challenge the verdict within ten days

LUGANSK, September 19. /TASS/. The Supreme Court of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has sentenced Maxim Petrov, a translator of the OSCE mission, to 13 years in prison on high treason charges, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"The Judicial Division for Criminal Cases of the LPR Supreme Court ruled to find Maxim Petrov guilty of a crime under article 335 of the LPR Criminal Code and sentence him to a prison term of 13 years," the court ruling reads.

Petrov can challenge the verdict within ten days.

Maxim Petrov, born in the LPR’s city of Sverdlovsk, worked as an interpreter with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Lugansk. He was detained in April on charges of collecting information of the LPR People’s Militia for a representative of the international organization.

According to the LPR state security ministry, Petrov has been working as an interpreter for the OSCE mission since 2015. He was contacted by a US national George Lewitski, a deputy head of the OSCE mission in Lugansk. The man was said to have years-long experience of service in the US armed forces and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Petrov gathered information about the Second Army Corps of the LPR People’s Militia while patrolling the contact line within the OSCE mission and shared this information with Lewitski. Apart from that, according to investigators, Petrov "has friendly relations with another member of the OSCE mission’s Lugansk team, who was engaged in spying activities in the LPR.

Earlier, the LPR Supreme Court sentences another employee of the OSCE mission, Dmitry Shabanov, to 13 years in jail on charges of high treason.