INTERVIEW with Roberto De Vita: Italy’s espionage scandal

My client didn’t have permission to print them. All I’ve read are stories about wanting to understand. Biot is telling the truth in this regard. Everything about this case is certainly an earthquake for international relations, and it is all happening in Italy. We could autonomously verify which documents he could actually access in his position. FLICKR
RVD: Of course the economic situation is very difficult in the family. Sometimes people might have more than one sim card for various reasons. I have to reiterate that in terms of secret and classified documents, there are very rigorous procedures when giving permission to individuals to have this access. It was only in the news, I don’t know then why the media said that and I don’t know what their sources were. They must be printed. Italy has since expelled the Russian allegedly involved in the case, as well as another embassy official. The seized documents have yet to be fully scrutinized by the presiding judge. NE: As the Russian Embassy was involved in the case, what was the relationship between your client and the Russian diplomats? The judge said the evidence showed the officer used four different mobile phones and “had no scruples betraying his duty and the trust of the Italian for personal economic reasons.”

New Europe (NE): How would you define the documents that the accused officer gave to the Russians? NE: You had the chance to discuss these issues with important American journalists about the perception on the other side of the Atlantic about the suspected involvement of a NATO ally passing on secret information to the Russians regarding NATO. You have to know that for this crime you could get a life sentence. From the communications and from the places where they were, it’s clear that they were being used by his sons. What kind of access did he have to classified documents? In the investigation file, this fact was never mentioned. Without trying to understand. This led him to have access to evaluation and policy documents, but not to documents for the management of operations or details about the capabilities of NATO”. Italian naval officers. RDV: It is very simple, the sim cards were registered for different family members. Roberto De Vita (RDV): First, we have to take into consideration the sort of documents available to Biot. Obviously, he had his own phone. NE: Do you think that your client could have been in such a difficult economic situation as to justify committing a potentially criminal act like handing over secrets to an adversary? The problem here is that this case started from an assumption. About the relationship with the Russian embassy official, my client will explain everything in detail during the next interrogation session. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio called the issue a “hostile act of extreme gravity.” The Italian media has quoted the judge presiding over the case as saying that the officer’s actions were “not isolated or sporadic, but well-planned”. Even Ambassador Gianpiero Massolo, who was Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, declared that there could not have been any damage to NATO or national security. Some media reported that my client met a Russian officer during a reception at an embassy, about this I can stress that Biot never entered a Russian Embassy or Consulate, or any other countries’ diplomatic missions. Since the beginning of the case, when he was arrested, Boit was very clear that he never had access to documents that were deemed “state secrets” or highly classified. These problems were related to the disability of his youngest daughter. RDV: My perception is that from a NATO, but also from an international, point of view that they took into consideration this case as it was presented by Italy. It is easy to verify what kind of information is being transited on a daily basis from like Biot. The Italian naval officer was arrested after Italy’s special operations force allegedly caught him in a parking lot handing over a flash drive with documents stored on it to an individual from the Russian Embassy in exchange for €5,000. The answer is very clear, I think. It is then important to say that highly classified documents can’t be seen on a PC because they undergo another procedure. through different layers, where the truth was. It is possible to concretely verify which secret information Biot had access to. It is easy to verify all this because there is a specific office that tracks all classified material that could be compromised. The other phones were being used by other family members. What is your feeling about that? In this case, I don’t think that this is the correct way to handle this matter. WIKIPEDIA








Amid the fallout of an espionage case involving an Italian naval captain, Walter Biot, and his alleged passing on of classified information to Russia’s intelligence services, New Europe spoke with Roberto De Vita, one of Biot’s attorneys, about the case. This is the first issue, but the other idea is to understand if it was worth it for him to commit this kind of crime. He also claimed not to have access to information or documents that concerned national security or operational activities. Also, from the Russian side, there was always a quiet attitude about the whole situation. RDV: First of all, there wasn’t any relationship between my client and the Russian citizen in question, or other countries’ embassies or consulates. There has been a communication mistake, at the beginning of this case, that had a negative impact on my client, but also on public opinion at an international level. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>INTERVIEW with Roberto De Vita: Italy’s espionage scandal

By Federico Grandesso
Italian Editor, Journalist

The Palazzo Marina, headquarters of Italy's Navy Staff, in Rome. So, if this was true, should we wonder why he supposedly did it for only €5,000? At the same time, I felt, in Italy, there were a lot of emotions even before anyone understood the real facts. An Italian officer was caught in a car with a Russian diplomat. NE: One element that the media underlined was the use of four different sim cards by your client, can you tell me more about this? To give you a better clarification on this, we should consider what Lorenzo Guerini, the Italian Defense Minister, said in front of the parliament’s defense committee: “The officer had a position that authorized him to see classified material, but his responsibilities did not feature command or management activities. As we can trace everything, I can also exclude the possibility that my client could have ever met the Russian official at a reception in an Italian institutional place. What was only highlighted is that the documents are listed as ‘highly confidential’, and therefore as an assumption, they are supposed to be relevant in terms of national security. My client confirmed then that he never took part in such events. The place where Biot was working was not an operational command, and it is not dealing with strategic detailed activities, but it is only dealing with policies and producing analyses, but not from an intelligence point of view. Nobody can deny this fact, and because of this, we excluded the possibility that highly sensitive documents could have been in the hands of Biot. From east to west, there was an immediate understanding that this issue could be downplayed. I still haven’t read any specific news from the US or other NATO countries about the situation. The documents’ author can easily be confirmed, as well as who has security clearance to access the information. This speech from the Defense Minister confirms that the security of the country and of NATO was never put in danger.