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MOSCOW, October 14 /TASS/. The Moscow City Court on Wednesday sentenced Yuri Soloshenko, the former director of Ukraine’s defense plant Znamya (Banner), to six years in a top security jail on espionage charges. His lawyer Gennady Blokhin said he could be extradited to Ukraine to serve his prison sentence in his home country after the verdict took effect.
"Extradition is possible. I cannot rule that out," Blokhin said after hearing the verdict.
Soloshenko pleaded guilty of spying for Ukraine and decided not to appeal his verdict. Blokhin said the court had passed a milder sentence on Soloshenko given his age and cooperation with the investigation as well as the fact that he had fully admitted his guilt.
The lawyer explained that Soloshenko had tried to take secret documents and weapons elements out of Russia.
The court returned a mobile phone to Soloshenko but confiscated $6,000, which the convict planned to use for committing his offence. The money would become the state revenue.
Soloshenko’s trial took place behind the closed doors.
Soloshenko, 73, will stay in a pre-trial detention ward pending the sentence to take effect. Ukraine’s consul in Russia was also present in the courtroom.
Soloshenko who has been on pension since 2010 was detained in Moscow in the summer of 2014 on espionage charges.
The Znamya defense plant that was located in Poltava, northeastern Ukraine, specialized in the production of electrical equipment for air defense means. The enterprise went bankrupt in 2012.