BFF-74 Ukraine jails scientist, 84, for spying for Russia

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UKRAINE-RUSSIA-ESPIONAGE-MILITARY

Ukraine jails scientist, 84, for spying for Russia

KIEV, July 31, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A Ukrainian court on Tuesday sentenced an
84-year-old scientist to 12 years in prison for passing on military
information to Russia, his lawyer and the prosecutor said.

Mekhti Logunov was arrested in August last year in Kharkiv, a city in
northeast Ukraine near the front with pro-Russian separatists, according to
the regional prosecutor.

“He was gathering information belonging to scientific institutions that
were state secrets,” notably in the military domain, the prosecutor said in a
statement.

Logunov’s trial took place behind closed doors because of the state secrets
involved, his lawyer, Dmytro Tykhonenkov, told AFP.

Tykhonenkov said his client had been given a 12-year prison sentence but
added he planned to appeal.

The scientist had previously publicly expressed his admiration for the
separatist cause in eastern Ukraine.

“If I were younger, I probably would have joined (Igor) Strelkov,” he said
in an interview with a Ukrainian television channel, referring to the former
rebel leader.

According to the Ukrainian television channel 1+1, the scientist obtained a
secret report on Kiev’s development of a new military technology and was
preparing to take it personally to Russia before he was arrested.

The conflict between pro-Moscow separatists and the Ukrainian army has
killed more than 10,000 people since it broke out in 2014.

Kiev and the West say Russia is giving military support to the rebels — a
charge Moscow denies despite many reliable reports of its troops being
present in the conflict zone.

BSS/AFP/MRI/2303 hrs