US judge grants bail to Russia spy suspect; two ordered held

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A US judge granted bail on Thursday to Russia spy suspect Vicky Pelaez, but placed her under house arrest, while two other suspects in the scandal were ordered held in detention.

Judge Ronald Ellis said Pelaez, a journalist born in Peru but who has US citizenship, could be released on house arrest with a monitoring device if someone paid the 250,000 dollars bond, with 10,000 dollars needed in cash.

Two other suspects, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, were ordered detained, with Ellis saying "the government evidence is strong" against the couple, who were among 10 suspects nabbed by US authorities in recent days under suspicion of operating as Russian agents in the United States.

The judge also postponed a decision on Juan Lazaro, who US prosecutors said Thursday confessed after his arrest to his role as a Russian mole.

© 2010 AFP

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