One meeting a month without phone calls or preventive contacts. This was the mode agreed between Captain Walter Biot and Dmitri Ostroukhov, the Russian diplomat who had hooked him five months ago, for the delivery of confidential documents from the Defense General Staff.
The information from the Carabinieri del Ros attached to the documents of the investigation reveals the details of the operation that led to the arrest of the Italian officer and the immediate expulsion decided by the Farnesina of his representatives in Moscow: Ostroukhov himself and his direct superior Alexey Nemudrov.
Investigators suspected that Biot was only one of the recruited sources and for this reason checks have already been started on the other contacts of the two diplomats, military attaches to the Russian embassy in Rome. Yesterday, the head of Kremlin diplomacy in Italy Sergey Razov tried to dampen the tension made very high by the operation conducted by the specialists of Aisi, the Internal Security Agency led by General Mario Parente, talking about an unpleasant episode that must not affect negatively on the overall constructive relations between our countries.
But from prison Biot asked to be questioned by the magistrates and his revelations could open new and disturbing scenarios in a story marked by many points that are still obscure.
The Walter Biot case: insights
Three times Biot was filmed photographing the computer with his smartphone: on 18, 23 and 25 March. Preparatory actions for the appointment on March 30th. But what happened before? What other documents did you bring to the Russians to prove their reliability? The counter-espionage activity carried out since last November would have documented the other meetings.
Now it is necessary to find out what secrets Biot has sold, what information has turned him into a useful pawn to the interests of Moscow. Without excluding that the government may decide to affix the state secret on the documents, precisely to avoid further damage to the security of Italy and with respect to relations with allies, given that the list of dossiers stored in the card also includes classified acts of NATO. .
The suspicion that Biot was not the only source recruited by the Russians: other of his colleagues or officers employed in strategic offices may have been hooked by the two Moscow diplomats in the same way and with promises of even higher pay.
Yesterday the captain of the Navy met his lawyer Roberto De Vita in prison and filed the request to be questioned: I was wrong, overwhelmed by the problems of my family I made a serious mistake but I did not put my country at risk because I did not have a high-level access, the documents I gave were still traceable in another way. However, I am ready to clarify every detail.
The prosecutor Michele Prestipino and the magistrates delegated to the investigation will decide after the Easter holidays whether to accept the request but the lawyer De Vita tries to downsize the role of the officer: Classified documents cannot be photographed, only printed. This story is very different from what it appears, much more banal. A line of defense that currently clashes with the decisions taken by the government and with the reaction of Moscow.
And he has to deal with the investigation already started by the military prosecutor who is examining the documents and delegated new checks to the carabinieri. Biot – under investigation for revealing military secrets for espionage purposes – faces life imprisonment. Enough to understand how high the stakes are. And above all, how the Aisi operation served to send a clear message to the network of spies operating in our country and to all those who, employed in strategic positions, they may have decided to put themselves at the service of foreign powers.
April 3, 2021 (change April 3, 2021 | 09:23)