MOSCOW, June 7 (Itar-Tass World Service)
The Kommersant daily reported about another espionage scandal. The Moscow District Military Court sentenced to 18 years in prison Colonel of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Valery Mikhailov, 61, on Wednesday. He is accused of passing thousands of classified and top secret documents to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2001 to 2007. The Federal Security Service has prepared these documents for the Russian leadership. The spy, which gained over two million dollars on the information leak, pleaded guilty and really confessed, however, the court sentenced him to five years more than the public prosecutor demanded. Meanwhile, the newspaper reported that Mikhailov may not stay in prison for a long time, taking into account he is a precious exposed agent, the US authorities are seeking to exchange him.
The FSB detectives, who were investigating the Mikhailov criminal case, found that he began to cooperate with the CIA agents in Moscow since 2001. Receiving a reward, before 2007 he passed to them over 1,000 copies of top secret documents, which the Federal Security Service had prepared for the president, the prime minister and the Russian Security Service. He hid the flashcards with the copies of the documents in the caches, from which the agents took them. In 2007, when the Federal Security Service found an information leak, according to some available reports, a US agent, who had taken the documents from the cache, was detained. Meanwhile, Mikhailov retired from the FSB service at the retirement age. By this moment of time Russian counterintelligence officers succeeded to identify Mikhailov as a spy, who had put some copies of top secret documents in the cache, according to the video records and some other information. Mikhailov, who kept Russian citizenship, escaped to the United States and settled in the city Arlington together with his relatives. The FSB agents succeeded to flush Mikhailov from the US to Russia in 2010.
The Kommersant daily reported that Mikhailov, which the CIA considers as one of its most successful agents in the last few years, hopes that the US authorities will exchange him for a Russian spy. Meanwhile, this time people not connected with espionage can be used in the spy exchange. For instance, Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for arms smuggling, and a pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a conspiracy to traffic five tonnes of cocaine. Now the general prosecutors in the US and Russia are discussing an opportunity for their extradition to Russia to serve the sentence, but if the sides fail to agree, “other variants can be offered,” according to some sources of the newspaper.