A panel of three judges dismissed his appeal, meaning that Siauliai Regional Court's verdict has entered into force and Paleckis can now be sent to prison to serve his sentence. As the 18 months he spent in custody before his trial will be included into the prison time, Paleckis will serve around five years.
The 50-year-old man is currently out of custody, but remains under intensive supervision and has paid a bail of 50,000 euros.
"There's no objective reason to disagree with the first instance court's assessment of the evidence," Judge Vitalija Norkunaite said during the hearing, adding that Paleckis was rightly found guilty of spying.
Paleckis did not attend the court hearing, but his associates issued a written comment to the press before the hearing.
"How will I react to an unfavorable court ruling? As recognition that the "Dawn of Justice" movement is on the right path. The fight against the corrupt, oligarchic government of US puppet had to provoke a reaction. The system is scared of us. It is afraid of the whole truth about January 13th. As we are trying to get to the bottom of it. And we will find it out," Paleckis said in the comment.
A large group of his supporters gathered in the courthouse. When they heard the court's ruling to reject the appeal, the people started chanting "shame", and most of them left the courtroom before the verdict was fully read out. Police officers were present near the courtroom during the verdict announcement to maintain public order.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, Paleckis and Vilnius businessman Deimantas Bertauskas, acting in an organized group with a Russian intelligence officer, who was not identified in the pre-trial investigation, and other Russian citizens, including one convicted in the January 13, 1991 crackdown case, allegedly collected information of interest for Russian intelligence in Lithuania between February 2017 and October 2018 for monetary and other remuneration.
According to the prosecutors, the defendants were tasked with collecting information on officers and judges who worked on the January 13 case in Lithuania, as well as information on other cases related to Russia's aggression against Lithuania in 1990 to 1991.
The court of first instance exempted Bertauskas from criminal liability and his case was closed as he testified and provided evidence, which was key to disclosing illegal activity of Russian intelligence-linked persons in Lithuania.
Paleckis denied espionage charges, saying he was conducting a journalistic investigation. He claims that he did not know about Russian citizens' ties with Russian secret services and was in contact with them purely for his journalistic and political activity, and also for reasons related to a business he was setting up jointly with Bertauskas.
In the 2010s, Paleckis was convicted of denying Soviet aggression during the events of January 13, 1991, after he said that "our own people were shooting at our own people" on that day.