Russian border guard released in courtroom after border violation
A Šakiai court on Monday found Russian border guard Ruslan Peregud guilty of unlawfully entering Lithuania. As the man had already spent 30 days in detention, the time was included in the penalty term, therefore, he was released in courtroom as having already served his sentence.
"He was sentenced to 30 days of arrest, which he has already served, while waiting for the ruling," Audrone Matusiene, secretary of the court's administration, told BNS.
The court instructed the Pagėgiai unit of the State Border Guard Service to organize the Russian citizen's departure from Lithuania. The Russian citizen was given back his passport.
Prosecutors wanted Peregud to be sentenced to 60 days of arrest.
Under the Criminal Code, unlawful crossing of the state border is punishable by a fine, arrest or up to two years in prison. A milder punishment has been suggested for the Russian citizen, as he admitted to having committed the offense.
Peregud told the court that he was lost and was wandering for hours before coming across a river, which he crossed in search for help and without wanting to enter a foreign country.
Prosecutors said the man served with the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service.
According to case information, Peregud swam a cross the River Sesupe in the Sakiai district, southwestern Lithuania, on Sept. 9 to enter Lithuania.
Prosecutors say the Russian citizen fully admitted to the offense, asking the court to hear the case on the fast track.
On the day of the detention, Russian General Panchenko sent Lithuania a few conflicting messages, asking Lithuanian authorities to release the man, according to documents received by BNS.
The first letter described the detainee as an ordinary Russian citizen, persuading he and his mother had major health issues. After Lithuanian border guards did not hand over the Russian citizen, they received another letter from Panchenko a few hours later. The new letter listed Peregud as "an officer of the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service FSB in the Kaliningrad region."