Russian Republic Charges Topographer With Selling State Secrets

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Yoshkar-Ola, 19 January: The Federal Security Service (FSB) directorate for the Republic of Mari El has instituted criminal proceedings for divulging state secrets. The charge has been levelled against a principal specialist in the topographic department of the Mari Trust for Survey and Construction Work. He faces up to four years in prison for the offence.

The head of the press service of the FSB directorate for Mari El, Dmitriy Izotov, told an ITAR-TASS correspondent that the accused, who has not yet been named, sold secret documents to somebody without access to state secrets, namely a catalogue of coordinates of all geodesic points in the republic. The suspect had access to secret information and, therefore, realized he was committing a crime. When investigators searched his flat, they found another 250 documents, half of which, according to experts, are secret. Investigators are trying to establish what damage has been done, as a result, to the state.

This is the first criminal case in the republic's history to be instituted under Article 283 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which deals with the divulging of state secrets.

(Description of Source: Moscow ITAR-TASS in Russian -- main government information agency)