Russia wants to swap jailed scientist for detained agent in U.S.   2010-07-07 17:29:41 FeedbackPrintRSS

Anna Chapman, an alleged Russian spy arrested by the U.S. in recent Russia-U.S. spy case. (Photo:

MOSCOW, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Russia wants to exchange a jailed scientist for one of the suspected spies arrested in the United States, news agencies quoted a lawyer for the scientist as saying on Wednesday.

"They are going to swap him, among others, for those who have been detained in America. This is what he has told his parents," said Anna Stavitskaya, one of the lawyers of Russian scientist Igor Sutyagin.

"Eleven people will be swapped for eleven people, and Sutyagin is one of them," she said.

The Interfax news agency reported earlier that Sutyagin, who was convicted for espionage in 2004, may be deported to Britain for the swap.

"Sutyagin was transported from a camp, where he had been serving his term, to the Lefortovo pretrial detention center in Moscow the day before yesterday," said Ernst Chyorny, executive secretary of the Public Committee in Defense of Scientists.

"It looks like Sutyagin is to be deported to Britain tomorrow," Chyorny said, adding that "negotiations have been held with Sutyagin."

Sutyagin was head of the military-technological and military-economic policy sector within the foreign political research department at the Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Russian court found him guilty of delivering secret data to employees of the British company Alternative Futures, who were actually working for U.S. intelligence services.

Last month, 10 people were arrested in the United States suspected of spying for Russia. An 11th was detained in Cyprus and later went missing after his release on bail.

The White House said President Barack Obama knew about the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) operation on the spy case before meeting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last month.

The Russian Foreign Ministry had acknowledged that some of the suspects involved in the spy case were Russian citizens, but denied that the suspects acted against U.S. interests.

Russia at first said that the U.S. actions were "unfounded," but later hoped the spy case would not harm bilateral relations.

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This drawing shows five of the 10 arrested Russian spy suspects in a New York courtroom.  U.S. Justice Department announced Monday authorities have arrested 10 suspects on charges of spying for Russia.  (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Editor: Pliny
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