Lithuania has charged a man of gathering sensitive information for Belarus, and the case was handed over to the courts on Monday after a three-year investigation. Another person is still under investigation for similar activities.
The man, who has Lithuanian citizenship, allegedly collected information for the Chief Intelligence Board of the Belarusian Armed Forces' General Staff while working for state-owned Air Navigation, the Lithuanian Tribune reported.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office said that the suspect is accused of taking photos of sensitive documents and collecting and passing on other information on Lithuania's army and on the strategic importance of Lithuanian state-owned companies to its national security.
The suspect was detained last year and has been in custody ever since, and could face up to 15 years in jail. Lithuanian security officials said the investigation into the case took three years and it is likely Belarus shared information with Russia. No further details have been made public.
Edward Lucas told the Lithuanian Tribune that the capture reflects the progress of the Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD). He said 11 people were expelled from Lithuania in the past decade on accusations of spying, adding that some of them must have been successful in recruiting operatives.
Estonia has caught and prosecuted a number of people accused of spying for Russia in recent years, while Russia has detained Estonian security official Eston Kohver, with Estonian authorities saying Kohver was abducted from Estonian soil.
The capture by Lithuania could spell good news for Estonia, as experts have said in the past that Kohver might evenually be swapped for spies held in Estonia or other NATO states.