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Russia jails military officer for spying for CIA

Last Updated: Friday, February 10, 2012 - 21:59

Moscow: A Russian military district court on Friday sentenced an engineer of the country`s Plesetsk Space Centre to 13 years in prison on charges of state treason, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

The Plesetsk Space Centre is the only space launch facility on Russian territory and is mainly used for launches of military satellites and tests of ballistic missiles.

Lt Col Vladimir Nesterets, a senior testing engineer at the centre, has been convicted of selling secret data on tests of new Russian ballistic missiles.

"Nesterets has pleaded guilty on charges of selling information about testing of new Russian strategic missile systems to CIA officers in exchange for money," the FSB said in a statement.

"He was sentenced to 13 years in a high security prison and stripped of his rank," the statement said.

The details of the trial, which was held behind closed doors, were not available to the public for national security reasons.

On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russian counterintelligence exposed 199 foreign spies in 2011, including 41 professional intelligence officers and 158 agents in the pay of foreign spymasters.

Medvedev did not elaborate on the spies` home countries, but said some of the agents were Russian nationals.


First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012 - 21:59

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