Russian Spies Plead Guilty over Espionage in USA

World | July 9, 2010, Friday // 14:52|  views

A courtroom drawing from the hearing where ten people accused of being Russian spies plead guilty to being unregistered foreign agents and were then ordered to be deported. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The ten people arrested in the USA and accused of espionage for Russia have pleaded guilty and will be immediately deported out of the country.

The ten will be swapped with other four, arrested in Russia over espionage for CIA.

The ten Russians have confessed they have not been registered in USA as Russian agents and have stated they expect to be deported.

The money-laundering charged has been withdrawn as part of the deal with Russia. According to the main prosecutor, this will happen after the end of the Russian-American treaty.

The Russian spies have appeared together in public for the first time since the arrest. One by one, they have pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country". The judges have charged with the time they have already spent in jail.

A letter from the US Justice Ministry states that Moscow has agreed to the release of the arrested CIA spies and the permission to their families to leave the country. One of them, Igor Sutyagin, has allegedly landed in Vienna and is on his way to London. He has not confessed being a CIA agent.

The other three spies, whose names have not been disclosed, have been convicted of treason. They are serving long sentences in a Russian jail and are in poor health.

According to CNN, the other three individuals jailed in Russia are Alexander Zaporozhsky, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

However, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner denied Thursday that Sutyagin had been a spy.

CNN reported that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the spies swap was made "in the general context of improving Russian-American relations, and the new dynamic they have been given, in the spirit of basic agreements at the highest level between Moscow and Washington on the strategic character of Russian-American partnership."

All ten arrested in USA will be deported to Russia. The lawyer of one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said Russian officials had promised her a lifetime monthly payment of ,000, free housing, and all-expenses-paid visits from her children.

It is unclear if the other nine people were given a similar deal.

Seven of them have uncovered their real names. Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills say their real names are Mikhail Kutzik and Natalia Pereverzeva, court papers say.

Richard Murphy is actually Vladimir Guriev and his wife, Cynthia Murphy is Lidia Gurieva. Donald Howard Heathfield was the cover name of Andrey Bezrukov.

Elena Vavilova has been living under the name Tracey Lee Ann Foley. Juan Lazaro, who confessed he was a Russian agent but did not want to disclose his real name, was found out to be Mihail Anatolievich Vasenkov.

Anna Chapman, Mikhail Semenko and Vicky Pelaez have not used cover names.

The real name of the 11th spy Christopher Mesos remain unknown.

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Tags: russian spies, espionage, Russia, spies, USA, CIA


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