Poland indicts suspected Russian spy: prosecutors

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A suspected Russian spy snared in Poland last year has been indicted formally, prosecutors told AFP on Friday.

"We have handed over the act of indictment to the regional court in Warsaw," said prosecution spokesman Zbigniew Jaskolski.

Jaskolski, in line with Polish legal custom, identified the man only by his first name and initial, Tadeush Y.

He said the accused, aged 41, was a Russian citizen with a long-term residence permit in Poland.

He was detained by Poland's ABW counter-espionage service on February 4, 2009, Jaskolski said. The case was revealed by Polish media in January this year.

Prosecutors charge that Tadeush Y. began spying for Russia's GRU military intelligence in 2003.

He risks 10 years in prison.

Polish media have reported that he spoke fluent Polish, and ran a business selling sights for hunting weapons.

He avoided contact with the Russian embassy and instead sent the information he gathered directly to his Moscow handlers, using a secret transmission system, prosecutors claim.

Polish media have suggested that his arrest may have been a reason behind the Kremlin's April 2009 axing of GRU chief General Valentin Korabelnikov.

Warsaw's and Moscow's intelligence services were allies until Poland broke from the crumbling communist bloc in 1989.

Poland joined NATO in 1999, and its ties with Russia have often been rocky in recent years.

© 2010 AFP

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