15:10 GMT +3 hours21 November 2014
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Russian Court Upholds Sutyagin Spying Sentence

Russia
(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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The Russian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the 15-year sentence handed down to Igor Sutyagin, a former disarmament researcher, who was convicted of espionage on behalf of the USA in 2004 but later pardoned.

The Russian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the 15-year sentence handed down to Igor Sutyagin, a former disarmament researcher, who was convicted of espionage on behalf of the USA in 2004 but later pardoned.

The court was reexamining the case as a result of a ruling in May 2011 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which found the Russian judiciary had violated Sutyagin's rights to a fair trial, and ordered Russia to pay him 20,000 euro compensation.

Sutyagin was accused of passing information to a British company linked to the CIA in 2004. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years jail.

Under a spy exchange deal in 2010, signed in Vienna, Russia pardoned and released four prisoners jailed for spying for the United States, including Sutyagin, in exchange for 10 people accused by the U.S. of spying for Russia, including Anna Chapman.

Sutyagin, who is currently resident in London, sent a petition to the Supreme Court stating he was "satisfied with the ECHR verdict, and having no reason to trust the Russian Supreme court and the Moscow City court," had refused to participate in this second review of the case.

A review of his case must be postponed "for better times, when the courts will finally be independent, and the judges will reach the level of a man with a normal intellect in their decisions," he said.

He also asked the court to close his case and recognize that his imprisonment since his arrest in April 2004 was unlawful.

Sutyagin has previously said he wants to return to Russia to be with his family, but has been warned not to by his friends, the New York Times reported.