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Sweden releases Russian spy suspect

Written by: Staff

STOCKHOLM, Apr 8: Swedish authorities have said they were releasing from custody a Russian researcher who had been suspected of spying for a foreign power at Uppsala university's agricultural genetics laboratory.

The arrest of Andrei Zamyatnin in February sparked diplomatic protests from Moscow. But Swedish Chief Prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand said there was no proof he had put Swedish security or commercial interests at risk.

Zamyatnin was arrested in the university town of Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, on suspicion of carrying out ''espionage activities'' which put Sweden's armed forces at risk, according to the counter-espionage service SAPO.

''The preliminary investigation into suspected spying and unlawful intelligence activities and serious corporate espionage has been dropped since no crime can be proved,'' Lindstrand said in a statement yesterday.

The Russian collected ''a substantial amount'' of information about research and his colleagues at the university and handed it to the Russian embassy, but this would only be a crime if there was evidence it had damaged national security, he said.

''The authorities that have scrutinised the material have not found that such damage occured,'' Lindstrand said.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS said Zamyatnin was met by the Russian ambassador on his release and taken to the embassy.

''The most difficult thing in prison is keeping your self-control while waiting, but I waited till the end,'' Andrei Zamyatnin told the news agency.


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