Spy suspect confessed to being Russian agent: US prosecutors

1st July 2010, Comments 0 comments

One of the suspects in the Russia spy scandal confessed after his arrest to working for Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service, US prosecutors said Thursday.

The confession was detailed in a letter sent by prosecutors to encourage judge Ronald Ellis to deny bail to the suspect, who went by the name of Juan Lazaro.

In the letter, prosecutors outline how Lazaro admitted in a "lengthy post-arrest statement" to working for the "Service" -- an abbreviation used in official court documents for Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service, a successor of the Cold War-era KGB.

Lazaro also stated that his co-accused, Peruvian journalist Vicky Pelaez, had delivered correspondence on his behalf to the SVR, and that the house they shared in Yonkers, outside New York, was paid for by their Russian spymasters.

"After being given his Miranda warnings (and waiving them), Lazaro admitted, among other things, that he was not born in Uruguay; that 'Juan Lazaro' was not his true name; that Pelaez had traveled to the South American country in 2000; that Pelaez had delivered letters to the 'Service' on his behalf; that the Yonkers House had been paid for by the 'Service'; and that, although he (Lazaro) loved his son, he would not violate his loyalty to the 'Service' even for his son. Lazaro refused to provide his true name," the letter said.

© 2010 AFP

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