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Convicted spy Igor Vyalkov
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Sep. 21, 2005
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Intelligence Officer's Espionage Charge Not Overturned
The Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation left the sentence passed against Lieut. Col. Igor Vyalkov in force yesterday in a two and a half-hour closed hearing. He was sentenced by the Moscow District Military Court to ten years in a maximum security prison colony in December 2004 after being charged the year before with spying for Estonia. The 34-year-old was an intelligence officer in Pskov Region along the Estonian border. Charges of illegal border crossing were dropped because of the statute of limitations. An investigation revealed that Vyalkov provided members of the Estonian special services in 2001 and 2002 with top secret information that included the identities of Russian agents working in that country.
Vyalkov's defense claims that he was conducting a sting operation to uncover foreign spies and his aims were misunderstood. УHe violated his instructions, and that was interpreted as treason,Ф his lawyer Roman Chervontsev said. The decision of the Military College can be appealed, but it is unlikely that Vyalkov's parents, who paid for his defense, have the financial means to do so. The lawyer noted that all extenuating circumstances (young children and aged parents) had already been taken into account in the sentencing.




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