President signs bill on tougher penalties for espionage

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has signed an amendment to the Penal Code increasing the penalties for espionage.

The tougher new sentences come as Poland appears to be an increasing target for foreign spies owing to it becoming a logistical hub for military supplies to Ukraine.

The country’s intelligence services have arrested 16 members of an alleged Russian spy ring in recent months, which was apparently tasked with disrupting supplies and undermining support for Ukraine in Poland. 

Under the amendment the punishment for participating in foreign intelligence activities will increase from 1-10 years to 5-30 years. Espionage involving the transmission of messages, now punishable with a three-year term behind bars, will soon be worthy of even a life sentence.

Directing and organising the activities of foreign intelligence in Poland will be punishable with 10 years to life in prison instead of the currently applicable penalty of five years. 

Anyone who participates in the activities of foreign intelligence and "carries out diversion, sabotage or commits terrorist crimes" will also be sentenced to life imprisonment. 

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.