Politics

Court jails Ukraine PM's interpreter accused of spying for Russia

A Ukrainian court has ordered a government official accused of spying for Russia to remain in custody during an investigation.

Stanislav Yezhov pleaded not guilty to charges of passing government secrets to Russian handlers

Official in the Ukrainian government's secretariat Stanislav Yezhov, who was detained on December 21, 2017 by the state security service SBU on suspicion of working in the interests of Russia, is seen inside a defendant's cage during a court hearing in Kiev, Ukraine December 22, 2017. (Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters)

A Ukrainian court has ordered a government official accused of spying for Russia to remain in custody during an investigation.

The court in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv ruled Friday that Stanislav Yezhov would be kept in jail through Feb. 17. His defence lawyer says Yezhov pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ukrainian media reports identified Yezhov as a senior aide and personal interpreter to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. He was arrested Wednesday.

Ukraine's Security Service, or SBU, alleges that Yezhov passed government secrets to Russian handlers.

Groysman told lawmakers that the aide, who accompanied the prime minister on foreign trips, was under SBU surveillance and without access to confidential information for some time.

Russia and Ukraine have been in a tug-of-war following Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Stanislav Yezhov, circled, was in the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, for a meeting during the October visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, second from right. (CBC)

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