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UK to try five suspected Russian spies next year

Five Bulgarian nationals to be tried for alleged Russian spy network activities in the UK, with a trial date set for next October, as per Sky News.
Vanya Gaberova (centre), Katrin Ivanova (top left), Ivan Stoyanov (bottom left), Bizer Dzhambazov (top right) and Orlin Roussev (bottom right). Collage: The Guardian Nigeria
UK to try five suspected Russian spies next year

Five Bulgarian nationals accused of being part of a Russian spy network in the UK will stand trial in October next year, a judge at London’s Old Bailey court has said, according to Sky News. The trial is expected to last up to four months. 

The three men and two women are accused of conspiring “to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state” between 30 August 2020 and 8 February this year.

In February, UK counterterrorism officers arrested Orlin Roussev, aged 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 42, Katrin Ivanova, 32, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29. Charges of identity document offenses have been brought against Roussev, Dzhambazov, and Ivanova. Judge Jeremy Baker has decreed that this case should be concurrently heard with the existing conspiracy case.

Reuters says prosecutors accuse the five defendants of being part of an organized network that had carried out surveillance and hostile action on behalf of Russia against specific targets, including for potential abductions.

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