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Accused Russian Tech Agents Deny Charges - Lawyer

RIA Novosti

07:28 05/10/2012 NEW YORK, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Four Russians accused of illicitly obtaining military cutting-edge microelectronics for Russia in the United States deny any wrongdoing, defense lawyer Alexey Tarasov told RIA Novosti.

Eight members of the alleged secret Russian military procurement network were arrested earlier this week in Houston while three suspects are still at-large and believed to be outside the United States.

Seven of the arrested were formally charged in federal court in Houston on Thursday. The charges include illegally exporting technology, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Four suspects, including alleged spy ring leader Alexander Fishenko, hold Russian citizenship, while the rest are citizens of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

“All four Russians deny charges against them,” Tarasov, who is a lawyer for one of the Russian defendants, said.

“I have read the indictment and it looks rather convoluted, aiming, I guess, to confuse and frighten the defendants,” the lawyer said.

Another member of the defense team, which is still being formed, lawyer Eric Reed, earlier said the accusations were fairly dramatic and the defense “will certainly take a hard look at to see if there is any evidence to support them.”

During bond hearings on Friday, the court is expected to decide whether the defendants are eligible for bail or house arrest.

The court may also decide to transfer the case to New York.

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