Sweden has started planning for the prosecution of two Iranian-Swedish brothers who were arrested in 2021 over allegations of espionage for Iranian Intelligence organizations. 

According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, the Stockholm District Court began Thursday planning for a meeting with the prosecutors and defense attorneys for the upcoming trial.

The details of the case against them are not very transparent as prosecutors Per Lindqvist and Mats Ljungqvist have commented very little on the substance of the allegations. Formal charges against the two are expected in the coming months and their trial will not be open to the public. Both brothers’ lawyers have so far maintained that their clients are innocent.

Both brothers, who were born in Iran but came to Sweden as children in 1994, are accused of spying activity from March of 2011 until their arrest in September and November of last year, and are currently kept in strict isolation at the Kronoberg prison. 

The Swedish paper did not mention their names but earlier reports at the time of their arrest disclosed their identities as Peyman Kia, now 42 years old, and his brother Payam, who is 35 years old.

A picture of Peyman Kia circulated in Swedish media

The older brother of the pair is said to have worked as an investigator and spent time in the Security Police (SÄPO) as well as working for military intelligence and the Office for Special Acquisition (KSI), one of Sweden’s most secretive intelligence agencies. The younger brother has also worked for SÄPO for a brief period. 

Tensions are relatively high between Iran and Sweden over a Swedish court’s sentencing of former Iranian jailor Hamid Nouri to life imprisonment over executions of political prisoners in 1988.

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