One of Latvia’s security agencies, the State Security Service (VDD) said March 2 that two weeks earlier – on 17 February – it had asked the Prosecutor General’s office to initiate criminal proceedings against a Latvian citizen for attempting to recruit one of its employees as a Russian spy.
“On behalf of the Russian intelligence service the Latvian citizen sought to recruit a VDD official, who then would gather and transfer to a foreign intelligence service undisclosable information and information containing official secrets, which was available to the official in performance of the official duties and which could be used by the Russian intelligence service against the interests of the Republic of Latvia,” said a release from the VDD.
While not naming the people concerned or giving many more details, the statement was considerably more forthcoming than is sometimes the case.
“VDD initiated criminal proceedings against the person on 8 July 2019 and during the pre-trial investigation has obtained enough evidence to confirm the suspect’s guilt in committing the incriminated criminal offence. VDD has referred the materials of the criminal case to the Prosecution Office in order to initiate criminal prosecution against the suspect,” the VDD added.
Currently the suspect is under arrest, it confirmed, while refraining from further comment.
The State Security Service is one of the three Latvian Security and Intelligence Services, alongside the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) and Defence Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD). VDD is counterintelligence and internal security service, which gathers the information from different sources, carries out its analysis, informs senior officials about the threats identified to the national security as well as takes measures to neutralize them.
Latvian VDD’s responsibility is the conduction of counterintelligence activities, protection of state secrets, protection of constitutional order, protection of economic security interests, coordination and conduction of counterterrorism measures as well as protection of dignitaries. VDD is also the only service out of three Latvian intelligence and security seervices with the right to carry out pre-trial investigation (to initiate criminal proceedings, initiate criminal prosecution as well as arrest persons).