Russian to stand trial on spying charges

2012-05-12 20:16

Moscow - Russia is putting on trial an engineer accused of passing information on its newest submarine-launched ballistic missiles to foreign intelligence, a news report said on Saturday.

A Russian law enforcement source was quoted telling the Interfax news agency that an employee at a defence facility in the Urals had been charged with espionage for disclosing data about Bulava, Russia's latest submarine-launched ballistic missile.

He will stand trial in the main Urals city of Yekaterinburg in several days, the source was quoted as saying.

The employee was passing "information in the sphere of strategic defence systems that contains state secrets" while working in research and development at a restricted facility that developed missile technology, Interfax said.

The source did not disclose where the employee worked, or which foreign intelligence agency he was passing the information on to. The trial will be closed to the public, the source was quoted as saying.

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

The Russian authorities usually keep a tight lid on military and security matters including espionage cases.

The Bulava is an intercontinental nuclear-capable missile Russia has developed to replace its Soviet-era stock.

The project suffered numerous failed launches over the past decade but was approved late last year after several successful ones.

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