Dutch former fighter pilot convicted of espionage

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The court in The Hague has sentenced former F-16 pilot Chris Vaneker to five years in jail on charges of selling state secrets to a Russian diplomat.

Vaneker callsign 'Omelet' allegedly wanted half-a-million euros for the information he was trying to sell. The court found that the 37-year-old former fighter pilot took the initiative to get in touch with the military attaché at the Russian embassy in The Hague.

The pilot and the Russian diplomat were arrested in March after they agreed to meet in a Scheveningen restaurant. The diplomat was soon released. The authorities were unable to determine what information Vaneke passed on to the Russian because he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

The court argued that the information must have been top secret because otherwise no foreign power would have been interested in acquiring it.

Chris Vaneker is expected to appeal against his sentence, but his lawyer said he needed to discuss the verdict with his client first.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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