Russia jails man for passing military secrets to US Pentagon
October 16, 2009 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A Serb national was given an eight-year sentence by a Russian court earlier today, for allegedly passing classified information on Russian defense projects to an agent of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Agents with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, arrested the 61-year-old man, named Aleksandar Georgijevic, at a Moscow airport in 2007, as he was reportedly trying to leave Russia. They accused him of giving secret documents to Farid Rafi, whom the Russians claim was “working in the interests of the intelligence agency of the US defense ministry”. Georgijevic’s trial took place behind closed doors. But Russian media report that he began collecting classified information in as early as 1998, focusing primarily on the Russian military’s R-500 supersonic cruise missile, as well as the Iskander, Blokada and Khrizantema-C tactical missiles. The FSB is said to have evidence that Georgijevic managed to pass on to Rafi information on the Russian Arena tank protection system. Intelligence observers are searching for answers to two major questions in the Georgijevic-Rafi case: first, how a Serb national was able to gain access to classified information on Russian defense hardware projects; second, whether Georgijevic and Rafi are in any way connected to Viktor Kalyadin, a Russian entrepreneur arrested by the FSB in 1999 for collaborating with US spy services. Kalyadin was sentenced in 2001 to 14 years’ imprisonment, but he died in 2004, in mysterious circumstances. The FSB has so far declined further comment on Georgijevic or Rafi.