Russia jails defense plant employee for spying


A new Russian nuclear submarine, the Yuri Dolgoruky, drives in the water area of the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Arkhangelsk on July 2, 2009.



An employee at a Russian defense plant has been sentenced to eight years in a high-security prison for espionage.

A court in the central city of Yekaterinburg jailed Alexander Gniteyev at a closed hearing on Friday and fined him 100,000 rubles ($32,500), without giving details of his crime.

He will be unable to travel beyond his municipality without permission for one year after he serves his prison term, the Russian Legal Information Agency reports.

Russian media say Gniteyev was arrested for passing information on the submarine-launched ballistic Bulava missile – a key part of Russia’s nuclear deterrent – to an unnamed foreign power, according to the BBC.

Gniteyev reportedly worked at a secret state company producing automatic control systems. It was not known how he had pleaded at his trial.

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According to the Agence France Presse, the Russian authorities usually keep a tight lid on military and security issues, particularly in relation to cases involving espionage.

In February, a court in Moscow convicted a space engineer of espionage and sentenced him to 13 years in prison for passing information about strategic missile tests to the CIA. 

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