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Falsely Accused Russian ‘Spy’ Leaves India

RIA Novosti

14:38 22/03/2012 NEW DELHI, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian freelance photojournalist accused by Indian authorities of espionage departed the country after charges against her were dropped, the Russian Embassy in New Delhi said on Thursday.

Krasnoyarsk-based Olga Timoshik was detained in 2010, following the arrest of her acquaintance, German Thomas Kuhn, who was held near an unspecified “secret site” in the State of Punjab in northwestern India with no papers on him.

Kuhn had left his passport in Timoshik’s care, which resulted in the Russian spending a month in pretrial detention on suspicion of being a spy.

No evidence of her spying activity was produced despite promises from Indian law enforcements, and the charges against Timoshik were eventually changed to violation of visa regime, document forgery and instigating Kuhn to illegally stay in India.

A local court dropped the case in January, but Timoshik then had to campaign to get back a bail of 200,000 rupees ($4,000) and her belongings, seized as evidence.

The photographer told RIA Novosti in a recent interview that she retained her love for India, but dreamed only of returning to Russia after the trial, which came complete with a media frenzy over espionage allegations.

Kuhn pleaded guilty in December to visa regime violations, possibly to get out of jail and be allowed to leave India, Timoshik’s lawyer told India's The Tribute daily.

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