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Russian military officer sentenced to 9 years in jail for spying

RIA Novosti

12/09/2007 16:26

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Military District Court sentenced Wednesday Igor Arsentyev, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves, to nine years in prison after finding him guilty of high treason.

Alexander Minchanovsky, a spokesman for the court, said Arsentyev, arrested last year, was convicted of handing secret information over to a foreign state between 2002 and 2004 during business trips abroad.

The spokesman said that in line with the investigation, Arsentyev, who used to occupy a top post at a scientific and research institute with the Russian Defense Ministry, allegedly divulged secrets concerning Russian research plans on conducting electronic warfare.

Ravil Shakurov, a state prosecutor in the case, refused to name the country Arsentyev allegedly spied for, saying it could result in negative consequences for Russia.

"Counter-espionage activities continue, and announcing the name of the country could imply negative results for Russia," Shakurov said, adding that the accused did not receive any financial benefits for his spying activities.

Yelena Lebedeva-Romanova, a lawyer for Arsentyev, said she might file an appeal after she studies all aspects of the verdict, but she added that she was satisfied with the court's decision on a nine-year term, as Russia's Criminal Code provides for a minimum of 12 to 20 years for high treason.

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