Court Sentences Spy to 12 Years
Published: August 24, 2006 (Issue # 1198)
MOSCOW — A Moscow court on Wednesday sentenced a Russian man to 12 years in prison for allegedly trying to pass information on new rocket technology to Germany, a federal security official said.
Andrei Dumenkov, 42, was convicted of charges of high treason in the form of espionage by the Moscow City Court, said a duty officer with the Federal Security Service, known by its Russian acronym FSB. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in accord with agency policy.
Dumenkov pleaded guilty in court, Russian media reported. Phone calls to the court seeking more information went unanswered.
Security agents began investigating Dumenkov in 2004 as he allegedly tried to gather state secrets on unnamed rocket technology with the intention of selling them to German agents, Russian news reports said. RIA-Novosti said FSB agents detained Dumenkov on Aug. 3, 2005, at a Moscow railway station and that he had intended to flee the country once the secrets had been passed along.
The incident was the latest in a series of apparent espionage cases investigated by Russian security agents. Earlier this month, a military court sentenced a retired Russian colonel who reportedly helped British intelligence unmask dozens of Russian agents to 13 years in prison.
The FSB, the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, in January accused four British diplomats of espionage and alleged they received secret information from a radio transmitter hidden in a rock.
The FSB has also targeted Russian scientists and academics for alleged espionage or misuse of classified information.
Human rights advocates say the FSB is deeply suspicious of Russian scientists’ contacts with foreigners and the service has been emboldened now that its former director, Vladimir Putin, is president.