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Businessman from The Insider investigation not charged with violating sanctions due to statute of limitations, says Swedish prosecutor

The Swedish prosecutor's office has not charged Russian-Swedish national Sergey Skvortsov, who was recently acquitted in a case of “gross illegal intelligence activities” against Sweden and the United States, with sanctions violations. This information was disclosed by prosecutor Henrik Olin, who took part in the trial, in response to a query from The Insider.

“The Stockholm District Court has indeed found that the business of the prosecuted persons was a platform for the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and indeed purchased products (mainly electronic devices) for the Russian state, but the legislation on illegal intelligence activities against Sweden and a foreign state [Olin is referring to the United States — The Insider] is not applicable here. This legislation came into force in 2014 and had not previously been applied.”

According to Olin, “since most of the transactions were made some time ago, they are subject to the statute of limitations.”

He added that such actions on Skvortsov's part, if he committed them today, would likely be classed as export or sanctions-related offences.

Olin also said he had not yet decided whether he would appeal the verdict:

“I have three weeks to decide whether or not to appeal the judgement. I will use the time allotted to me under the law and therefore will not answer your question right now.”

The Insider had previously reported on the Stockholm District Court's verdict, which acknowledged that Skvortsov's actions closely aligned with the prosecution's assertions. The court affirmed that his company had procured and provided advanced technology to Russia.

However, the court also ruled that Skvortsov's “business was intended only to purchase technology from the West and was not aimed at obtaining information about Sweden or the United States that could qualify as espionage.”

Skvortsov was arrested along with his wife Elena Kulkova in November 2022. Kulkova was later released without charges.

Both have a background in electronics and engineering. Kulkova graduated from Moscow State University's Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, while Skvortsov studied at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute.

Skvortsov, according to The Insider’s investigation published in November 2022, did business with Vladimir Kulemekov, a prominent GRU operative who was once exiled from France for espionage, and Belgian entrepreneur Hans de Geetere, who was sanctioned for selling U.S. military technology to China.

According to The Insider and Bellingcat’s findings, shortly before leaving for Sweden, Skvortsov and his wife received a flat on Zorge Street in Moscow — the same address where Denis Sergeeev, one of the Skripals’ poisoners, lived.

Meanwhile, Kulkova's daughter turned out to have moved in with the former head of the Swedish Military Intelligence Department.

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