Supreme Court to examine cutting sentence to intelligence colonel

MOSCOW, August 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Supreme Court will examine an appeal by the defence of foreign intelligence colonel Alexander Poteyev who was sentenced in absentia to a 25-year imprisonment for betraying Russian intelligence officers to the US.

A defence lawyer’s appeal requests the military collegium of the Supreme Court to mitigate the sentence, passed by the Moscow District Military Court.

“I request exonerating him from some episodes with which Poteyev is charged as divulging state secret information, and mitigating his sentence,” he said.

The lawyer noted that he does not request cancelling the sentence, since there are “episodes where the guilt of my client has been proven”. He also specified that he appealed the sentence on his own initiative, since he had never had contacts with Poteyev and represented his interests on an appointment.

On May 27, the military court found Poteyev guilty of a state treason and desertion as well as strapped him of his military rank “colonel” and military decorations, including the Order of Red Star. Besides, the defendant is to pay a fine, totalling his annual allowance.

Pateyev is now outside Russia. His case was heard in absentia and in camera, since materials, received by the court, had the “secret” code.

It follows from the court judgement that Poteyev committed a grave crime, qualified as a state treason, including a conveyance of state secret information to a foreign state for over ten years. Exposure of Russian intelligence officers was possible only over the betrayal of Poteyev who had an access to all materials of a section of the Foreign Intelligence Service, office information and knew all agents of his section.

Incidentally, American agents received only that part of information which the colonel lay hands on. Using Poteyev’s information, US secret services learnt a mechanism of financing Russian agents abroad as well as communication channels. Acting deliberately, to the detriment of Russia’s security and ducking his military service, he betrayed secret information about Russian intelligence agents, including Anna Chapman, to unidentified American CIA representatives, inflicting damage to Russian intelligence activities.


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