BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
'Whistleblower' spy sentenced in Russia
Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky
Boris Berezovsky: Alleged target of plot
A Russian court has given a former intelligence agent a three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence for abuse of office and stealing explosives.

The Naro-Fominsk military court near the capital, Moscow, found Alexander Litvinenko guilty of beating up witnesses in his work as an officer of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB's main successor.

Mr Litvinenko - who was tried in absentia after refusing to return to Russia from the United Kingdom - denied all the charges through his lawyer and said he would appeal.

Mr Litvinenko first came to prominence in 1998 after telling the Russian media about an alleged plot by his superiors to assassinate Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Whistleblower

Mr Litvinenko was arrested in 1999 and spent nine months in jail on charges of abuse of office.

He later was acquitted of all charges and fled to London, where he was given political asylum.

Mr Litvinenko also wrote a book accusing his former bosses at the FSB of carrying out several apartment house bombings in 1999 that killed more than 300 people.

The attacks, which Moscow blamed on Chechen rebels, led to Russia's second war in the breakaway republic.

Mr Litvinenko's supporters called the charges against him an act of revenge for his whistleblowing.

They also said the trial of Mr Litvinenko and another former KGB spy had been carried out just in time before Russia's new Criminal Procedural Code took effect on 1 July.

The new code does not allow trials in absentia.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Stephen Dalziel
"His supporters claimed that this was a crude example of harrassment "
See also:

02 Nov 00 | UK
21 Mar 01 | Americas
05 Mar 01 | Europe
10 Aug 00 | Europe
16 Nov 00 | Media reports
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes