Foreign min monitoring case of Pole doing 14 years in Russian labour camp

Poland’s foreign ministry has said it is monitoring the case of a Polish man sentenced to 14 years in a Russian labour camp after being found guilty of espionage.

It said the Polish consulate in Moscow had been following the man’s case since April 2018, and that it had sent 12 diplomatic notes on the matter to the Russian foreign ministry.

The ministry added that the Polish consul had, so far, held six meetings with the man, the most recent being in October 2020.

The official statement came in response to a request from Adam Bodnar, the national ombudsman, for information on what it had been doing about the man’s plight.

The 44-year-old Pole, a businessman from north-eastern Poland, was sentenced to the labour camp in 2019. A Polish web portal said recently that during a meeting with his wife in March 2020, the man said he had been framed by Russian special services.

The foreign ministry also said that procedures related to the man's possible transfer to Poland lay in the competency of the justice ministry, which was planning to submit a request for his transfer under a Polish-Russian legal aid agreement.

Earlier the Russian justice ministry refused the man's request to be moved to Poland for the remainder of his sentence.

In February Bodnar also contacted his Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova over reports that the man was being mistreated in prison.