Spies on the Move Amid Talk of Swap

All 10 defendants in custody are now in New York
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2010 6:38 PM CDT
Spies on the Move Amid Talk of Swap
Irina Kushchenko, right, the mother of Anna Chapman, one of 10 alleged Russian spies, speaks to a Russian news site in Moscow.   (AP Photo/lifenews.ru)

(Newser) – The plot thickens: Two developments today made rumors of a spy swap with Russia seem like a pretty safe bet. For starters, the five Russian suspects who were being held in Boston and Virginia were abruptly transferred to New York City to join the five others, reports the BBC. Meanwhile, high-ranking officials from Moscow and Washington met secretly.

All this follows earlier news from the family of Russian physicist Igor Sutyagin, who's imprisoned on charges of spying for the US. They say he's been moved to Moscow in preparation for a swap. Russian officials have been contacting the spy suspects in the US to ask whether they'd be open to such a transfer, reports the Wall Street Journal. (It also notes that today's formal unveiling of charges does not charge the 10 with espionage but with the lesser crime of being unregistered foreign agents.)

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