Russian convict's whereabouts still unknown: family, lawyer

9th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The father and lawyer of Igor Sutyagin, an arms control expert at the centre of the Cold War-style spy swap between Moscow and Washington, said on Friday they were unaware of his whereabouts, with his father suggesting his son might have left Russia.

"I think he's already been expelled," his father Vyacheslav Sutyagin told AFP by phone from his home town of Obninsk just outside Moscow.

"We are waiting for a phone call. Since Igor is a responsible man, we are hoping he'll send us a message," he said.

The father said he had not heard from his detained son since Wednesday when the family was allowed to see Sutyagin at the Lefortovo high-security prison in Moscow. He was unexpectedly transferred from a prison in the Russian Far North earlier this week.

Sutyagin was set to go to Vienna on Thursday and might be in Britain by now, his father said, adding however that had yet to be officilly confirmed. "There is no reliable information," he added.

Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer for Sutyagin, told AFP separately it was still unclear whether her client had been sent out of the country.

Sutyagin, jailed in 2004 on charges of spying for the United States, is at the centre of the spy swap that resulted in the freeing of 10 Russian agents who admitted spying for the Kremlin.

To make the swap possible, President Dmitry Medvedev has pardoned Sutyagin and three other Russian convicts.

© 2010 AFP

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