More names emerge on US-Russia 'spy exchange' list: report

8th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

More names have emerged on a list of Russians condemned for spying who could form part of an exchange for the members of an alleged Russian spy ring in the United States, a report said Thursday.

The lawyer of Igor Sutyagin, jailed in 2004 for 15 years on charges of spying for the United States, said Wednesday he had been told he would be released as part of the swap for the suspects detained in the United States.

The Kommersant daily said the list of the Russian convicts who would form part of the swap included former members of the Russian secret services condemned for spying for the West.

They included Sergei Skripal, a former colonel with Russian military intelligence who it said was sentenced in 2006 to 13 years jail on charges of spying for Britain.

It quoted Ernst Cherny, the head of the committee for protection of researchers, who claims to have seen the list, as saying that Skripal's name was among those listed.

Sources in the Russian security services also told Kommersant that the list included a former employee of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Alexander Zaporozhsky who was jailed for 18 years for espionage in 2003.

Another man named was Alexander Sypachev, sentenced in 2002 to eight years in jail for spying for the CIA.

There was no confirmation of the exchange from the Russian authorities, although it has yet to be denied.

Cherny told the paper the list had been passed to Russia from the American side via diplomatic channels. He said he had been able to to look fleetingly at the document.

The United States arrested 10 alleged Russian "deep cover" sleeper agents on June 27 in an FBI swoop.

An 11th suspect, accused Kremlin paymaster Christopher Metsos, was arrested in Cyprus the following day but freed on bail and subsequently vanished.

© 2010 AFP

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