Former Latvia Constitution Protection Bureau worker and his wife accused of espionage

The office of the prosecutor accuses former Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) workers Aigars Sparāns and his wife of espionage.
The State Security Service (VDD) detained Sparāns for bribery in April 2020. As reported at the time by LTV programme De Facto, Sparāns was accused of accepting a bribe of EUR 35 000. The programme reported that testimony in the criminal case was provided by Tukums airport co-owner Konstantīns Soloduha, who was also involved in criminal cases regarding trade of arms and strategic goods.
Sparāns’ defence attorney Aleksandrs Berezins has confirmed the possible act of bribery is under investigation in a separate criminal procedure, adding that VDD continues its investigation.
Sparāns remains under arrest.
VDD presented him with criminal charges in spring 2021. On 1 October he and his wife were presented with charges of espionage. The prosecution reports documents containing state secrets were found in Sparāns’ home during a search. It is believed he acquired those documents while serving at SAB.
«My client is not accused of working in the interest of any foreign country. The act of espionage, according to the prosecutor, is indicated by the fact that such documents were found in my client’s possession. We have complained multiple times that the charges were raised illegally and that espionage as a term implies cooperation with another country, working in the interest of a foreign country. However, these complaints were rejected with the reason given that the prosecutor is an independent figure and makes decisions on his own,» said Berezins.
The defence believes charges were presented for actions that are not criminally punishable, because acquisition and storage of state secrets is not punishable.
According to the Criminal Law, Sparāns and his wife may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Berezins confirmed there was an act of arson committed at Sparāns’ home this year. State Police have commenced an investigation.
Sparāns links the arson with his previous work at SAB. He believes VDD and an «international arms trader» are involved. Sparāns did not elaborate on the name of this trader.
In a previous statement to the press, VDD reported performing court-sanctioned activities at three locations in Riga on 28th-29th April 2020.
The aforementioned actions were performed by VDD as part of a criminal procedure regarding large-scale bribery. VDD did not mention anything about possible espionage activity at the time. VDD officers confiscated multiple data storage devices and documents in those searches.
VDD also detained three persons.
Sparāns was initially put under arrest but was later released for EUR 50 000 bail money.
The money was paid by a close friend of Sparāns’, the husband of the late head of Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee Juta Strīķe and former operative of the Military Intelligence and Security Service Maigurs Strīķis. Some of the money was paid by Berezins’ law firm.
Maigurs Strīķis later made a statement that the case against Sparāns is doomed to fall apart.
De Facto programme reported last year that Soloduha mentioned businessman Edvīns Inkēns and ex-politician Andrejs Panteļējevs as mediators in the potential bribery case. The latter, allegedly managed to work for SAB in parallel to his political activities. Soloduha mentioned allegedly giving Sparāns a total of EUR 35 000 in multiple payments.