"The judicial panel decided to reject the appeal as the punishments is clearly not too strict," Judge Regina Pociene said.

The prison sentence came into forces after the court's ruling

On November 12, the regional court handed prison sentences to two Lithuanian citizens after finding them guilty of spying for Russia. Greicius received a four-year jail sentence, and Mindaugas Tunikaitis, who confessed and cooperated with the investigators, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

Greicius later appealed and asked to be acquitted.

The Court of Appeal heard witnesses' testimonies and statements from the two parties.

Greicius and Tunikaitis were accused of collaborating with Russia's Federal Security Service to collect intelligence information in Lithuania. The defendants did not know each other, but they were in contact with the same FSB agent from Russia's Kaliningrad region. Both men collected and passed on the information for a fee.

Tunikaitis lived close to the border with the Russian region of Kaliningrad and made regular trips to the Russian region, where he was met and recruited by the FSB officer. For almost six years, the Lithuanian citizen observed, photographed and filmed objects, and collected information online or through other people.

Tunikaitis confessed to the espionage charges and gave testimony that helped law-enforcement get a complete picture of the foreign intelligence agency's activities, according to the court.

For almost four years, Greicius organized events wholly or partially financed by the Russian intelligence officer, photographed or filmed the events and people attending them, gathered information relating to these events and published it in Lithuanian media, and passed the information on the Russian officer, according to the court.

The defendant denied the espionage charges, but the court of first instance concluded that there was sufficient evidence to prove his guilt.

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