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WASHINGTON, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - Retired US Navy cipher officer Robert Patrick Hoffman has been found guilty of attempted espionage for Russia. Norfolk Federal Court in Virginia proclaimed the 40-year-old guilty on Wednesday. Sentencing will be pronounced on December 2.
The case is viewed as a paradox. Being accused of attempted spying for Russia, Hoffman never contacted Russian secret services or passed over any information. FBI agents posing as Russian agents had offered him collaboration with “Russian secret services”. But Hoffmann was arrested having turned over certain documents to agents involved in an entirely U.S. frame-up.
The former cipher officer faces life imprisonment. His lawyers intend to appeal against the court's findings. They claim Hoffman planned to lure the Russian agents into his own trap in a bid to help the U.S. intelligence service.
Hoffman had served as a cipher clerk in the U.S. Navy for nearly 20 years until he resigned in November 2011.