The Italian military justice confirmed the sentence of almost 30 years in prison for a naval officer for spying for Russia

Italian police arrested navy captain Walter Biot – pictured – for espionage. Two Russian diplomats have been detained and expelled from Italy. (Europa Press/Contact/ZUMAPRESS) (Europa Press/Contact/ZUMAPRESS./)

The Military Court of Appeals of Rome confirmed the sentence to 29 years and two months in prison for Italian naval officer Walter Biotwho in March of last year was convicted of espionage for revealing confidential information relating to NATO to an employee of the Russian Embassy in Italy in exchange for money.

Although the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Rome requested a sentence of life imprisonment, Biot was sentenced to 30 years in prison that now, after their appeal, they are seen reduced in just ten months.

The resolution of the Military Court of Appeals thus confirms the first conviction after deliberation which lasted almost five hours, collects AdnKronos.

Biot was found guilty of delivering classified documents to Dmitri Ostroukhovemployee of the Russian Embassy in Rome, in March 2021 in exchange for 5,000 euros.

Among the evidence are videos in which the Italian soldier is observed taking photographs of his computer screen, which shows classified information.

In addition to the case opened in the Military Justice, Biot was also sentenced ten days ago to 20 years in prison by a Rome Criminal Court. for these same crimes.

This sentence 10 years less than the military sentence It was taken advantage of by his defense, who pointed out that “if it continued like this”, Biot would end up being released.

Currently, the frigate captain is detained in the military prison of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, located north of the city of Naples, serving the sentence imposed in March of last year by the Military Court of Rome. Biot was arrested in March 2021.

Scandal and diplomatic dispute with Moscow

Biot58, a frigate captain who worked in the office of the Chief of the Defense Staff, was arrested in Rome in March 2021 after agents following him in a parking lot saw him handing classified documents to a Russian soldier. in exchange for 5,000 euros ($5,440).

Military prosecutors – who had argued that Biot should be sentenced to life in prison – claimed that some of the 19 documents that Biot allegedly photographed with his smartphone were “highly classified NATO”of which one was “top secret”according to the Italian news agency Ansa.

In the criminal case, Biot was accused of espionage, revealing national security secrets and corruption.

After Biot’s arrest, his wife told a newspaper that He had been “desperate” to get money.

“My husband didn’t want to screw up the country. He gave the Russians the minimum he could give. Nothing very compromising. Because he is not stupid, irresponsible,” Biot’s wife said, Claudia Carbonarato the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. “I was just desperate. Desperate for our future and that of our children.”

According to Carbonara, his salary of 3,000 euros per month was insufficient to support his family, made up of four children – one of them with a serious disability – and four dogs.

At the time of the arrest, police were unable to detain the Russian embassy official who was meeting with Biot due to his diplomatic immunity.

But he and another Russian official were quickly expelled from Italy, while Russia expelled an Italian diplomat in Moscow almost a month later.

(With information from Europa Press and AFP)