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Russian engineer sentenced for spying

Feb. 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A Russian engineer convicted of selling the CIA information on testing of strategic missile systems was sentenced in Russia to 13 years in prison for treason.

Lt. Col. Vladimir Nesterets had worked as a senior testing engineer at Plesetsk Space Center, used mainly for launches of military satellites and tests of ballistic missiles, RIA Novosti reported.

"Nesterets has pleaded guilty on charges of selling information about testing of new Russian strategic missile systems to CIA officers in exchange for money," the Russian Federal Security Service said in a statement.

Nesterets, sentenced to a high-security prison by a military district court, also was stripped of his rank, the FSB said.

RIA Novosti said details about the closed-door trial were not available for national security reasons.

President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday Russian counterintelligence operations exposed 199 foreign spies in 2011.

Medvedev did not provide details on the spies' home countries but said some of the agents were Russian nationals.

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