Russia hands 15-years to ex-energy executive on ‘absurd’ spying charges for Moldova

Karina Țurcan

A Russian court has sentenced a former board member of a state energy company to 15 years in prison on charges of passing information to the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

Karina Turcan, whose name is also spelled Tsurkan, was found guilty of spying for Moldova Tuesday at a closed-door hearing, Russian news agencies reported. She denies wrongdoing. Her lawyers said she would appeal.

„This day will undoubtedly go down in history as a black page of Russian justice. An innocent person, and I am responsible for my words, was given 15 years in prison,” Ivan Pavlov, one of her lawyers was quoted as saying by Radio Free Europe.

The former board member of energy holding company Inter RAO board has stressed her innocence throughout.

The 46-year-old who has Moldovan and Romanian citizenship was initially detained in June 2018. She was initially suspected of handing over secrets to Romania connected to energy deliveries to Crimea and pro-Russian separatist territories in Ukraine.

Russia suspected she was supplying the West via Romanian spies with secrets based on her role as an executive at the company which exports electricity to Europe as well as Crimea.

Tuesday’s verdict found her found guilty of espionage but some details were not disclosed because they were classified.

The Moscow City Court  ordered  656 million rubles, about 7.3 million euros million), be seized from Turcan and given to the state, Russian news agency TASS reported.

„Discs and laptops confiscated from the convicted woman should be transferred to the FSB (the Russian security and intelligence service) for safekeeping,” TASS reported.

At the end of April 2015 in Moscow, she received a classified electronic draft document from the energy ministry relating to Russian energy companies.” She allegedly handed this document over to the Moldovan secret service months later, TASS reported.

The  prosecution had asked for 18 years.


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