ROME: An Italian Navy captain accused of passing categorised paperwork to Russia says he did not have entry to any info that will have compromised the safety or strategic operations of Italy or NATO, his lawyer mentioned Friday.
Attorney Roberto De Vita met with Capt. Walter Biot at Rome‘s Regina Coeli jail, the place the frigate captain and Defense Ministry coverage officer is being held on espionage fees in an isolation cell, a standard process for new inmates throughout the pandemic to forestall Covid-19 outbreaks.
Biot was arrested Tuesday after Italian particular operations forces allegedly caught him handing over a flash drive with 181 paperwork saved on it to a Russian Embassy diplomat in change for 5,000 euros ($5,881).
Italy expelled the Russian and one other embassy diplomat for what Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio referred to as a “hostile act of extreme gravity.”
A decide in Rome on Thursday denied Biot’s request to be launched from jail and put beneath home arrest, citing the gravity of the accusations and the priority that he would possibly commit additional crimes.
Italian information experiences quoted the decide’s order as saying Biot’s actions have been “not isolated or sporadic” however effectively-deliberate. The decide mentioned the proof confirmed the officer used 4 totally different cellphones and “had no scruples betraying the trust of his institution for economic reasons.”
Defense lawyer De Vita mentioned Biot, who initially declined to reply to prosecutors’ questions, was prepared to supply his model of occasions and to display that the paperwork in query have been “of little or scarce relevance and that regardless, in most cases were already available from other sources.”
“He will specify how he did not have access to information that could compromise national, military, strategic and NATO operations,” De Vita informed The Associated Press exterior the jail. “Precisely because the position he held did not allow him access.”
Biot’s family have mentioned he would by no means betray his nation. But they mentioned he struggled to supply for his household of six and to pay his mortgage on a month-to-month Defense Ministry wage of 3,000 euros ($3529).
De Vita mentioned his shopper was most involved in regards to the affect of the scandal on his household. The lawyer mentioned the case raises geopolitical and institutional points “beyond the judicial dimension” of the captain’s conduct.
“He is convinced that he can reduce or put into perspective the significance of his actions compared to what was divulged and what was said,” De Vita mentioned.