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Espionage charges brought against Inter RAO Group board member

Karina Tsurkan has repudiated all criminal charges pressed against her for allegedly spying for Romania, her attorney says

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Investigators have brought charges against Karina Tsurkan, a board member at the Inter RAO energy company, as part of a criminal case on spying for Romania, her Defense Attorney Dmitry Tsuprik informed TASS.

"Charges have been brought against Tsurkan," he said, adding that Tsurkan stated she was not guilty. "She does not understand what she is being charged with and she has no clue about what [crime] she committed. She believes this case is aimed at removing her from her office," he declared.

On Thursday, the Moscow City Court ruled that Karina Tsurkan’s arrest in espionage case was legitimate, rejecting the defense team’s complaint. Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court earlier arrested her until August 13 at the request of the investigators.

According to some diplomatic sources, Tsurkan earlier renounced her Moldovan citizenship and received a Romanian passport. Bucharest has already asked for explanations concerning the reasons for her detention.

Tsurkan is charged under Section 276 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Espionage). If convicted, she will face a prison term of up to 20 years. According to the Russian Criminal Code, the espionage article is only applied to foreign citizens. If a Russian national is accused of espionage, he or she is charged with high treason.