Mysterious Russian spy goes on trial in Poland

Valentin Korabelnikov

V. Korabelnikov

The trial has started in Warsaw, Poland, of an unnamed Russian citizen accused of working for Russian military intelligence. On October 22, the mysterious Russian, known only as “Tadeusz J.”, appeared before the Regional Court of Warsaw and pleaded not guilty to charges of collecting military intelligence on Poland on behalf of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). The accused has a Polish-sounding name and is fluent in Polish, but is not a Polish citizen. Instead, he lived in Poland under permanent residency status for at least decade. His legal income appears to have come from his ownership of a hunting-rifle accessories store. But he was arrested last February, after a six-month surveillance operation by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW). He was subsequently charged of obtaining classified information on the Polish military through his patronage of elite Polish hunting clubs, whose members included several Polish military officials. The ABW counterintelligence team reportedly discovered signaling and encryption devices in the suspect’s house, which he allegedly used to contact his GRU handlers without the mediation of the Russian embassy in Warsaw. The ongoing trial is closed to the public and the media, and lawyers from both sides have refused to comment on the case in any substantial way. Prosecutors have said, however, that if Tadeusz J. is found guilty, he could spend up to a decade in prison. Some intelligence observers speculate that Tadeusz J.’s arrest may have led to the surprise dismissal of GRU director General Valentin Korabelnikov, in April of 2009.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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