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Russia jails `US spy` for four years: Court

A Moscow court on Thursday jailed a Russian citizen for four years for handing secrets to the US.

Moscow: A Moscow court on Thursday jailed a
Russian citizen for four years for handing secrets to the
United States, in a rare public espionage scandal between two
ex-foes keen to bury their Cold War past.

Gennady Sipachev was convicted of spying for the United
States by handing over top secret Russian military maps for
the Pentagon to assist the targeting of US missile systems,
Russian official news agencies reported.

The verdict on Sipachev was the first time information
had been made public about the case, which comes at a time
when Moscow and Washington have been working hard to improve

The investigation found that Sipachev had sent the maps,
which were classified as state secrets, to the United States
through the Internet.

He was sentenced at the Moscow city court after being
found guilty of article 275 in Russia`s legal code "state
treason in the form of espionage". No details were given on
his age, occupation or background.

Pictures broadcast on state television showed Sipachev --
a balding middle-aged man with black-framed glasses and a
moustache -- in the glass-fronted accused box in the

Casually dressed in a short-sleeved shirt, he appeared
relaxed and made notes for his lawyer.

The case was unique in the history of Russian espionage
as it was the first time a suspect accused of state treason
had made a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for a
lighter sentence.

Under the legal code, individuals found guilty of state
treason face up to 20 years in a hard-regime penal colony.

"Sipachev cooperated actively in the detection and
investigation and also pointed to criminal activity by other
individuals which helped prevent further damage to the
security of Russia," the verdict said.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) -- the successor to
the Soviet KGB -- said Sipachev had first raised the
suspicions of Russian counter espionage in 2008, Russian news
agencies reported.

He was found then to have transferred the secret maps
abroad at the behest of the Pentagon`s in-house intelligence
service, which acted under the cover of an organisation named
"East View Cartography".

Their aim was to use the information to make the
targeting of US cruise missiles against Russian targets more


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