Deal Could Swiftly End Russian Spy Case

Will get off with little to no jail time, deportation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2010 6:57 AM CDT
This July 1, 2010 court sketch shows accused Russian spies, from left, Patricia Mills, Michael Zottoli, and Mikhail Semenko, standing, in federal court in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren, File)

(Newser) – The Russian spy ring case appears to be hurtling towards some kind of conclusion. The spies will strike a simple plea deal, get off with little or no jail time, and be deported back to Russia, according to New York Times sources. But there could be more intrigue afoot. Over in Russia, an academic convicted of spying for the US has been told he’ll be part of a prisoner swap for the accused Russians, his lawyer tells the RIA Novosti news agency.

The academic, nuclear expert Igor Sutyagin, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2004 for passing information to the US. According to his lawyer he’s just been transferred to a Moscow prison in anticipation of being deported. “He agreed” to the deal, the lawyer said, “but he stressed that he could not have disagreed. Otherwise, his life would be ruined.”

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