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1963: Moscow jails British 'spy'
A British businessman accused of spying for the West has been sentenced to eight years' detention by a Moscow tribunal.

The President of the Court declared Greville Wynne, aged 44, would serve three years in prison and five in a labour camp. Spectators in the crowded courtroom applauded and some shouted: "Not enough, not enough."

His co-accused, 43-year-old Soviet scientific official Oleg Penkovsky, was given the death sentence. There were loud cheers when his sentence was read out.

He has also been stripped of his rank of colonel and all his medals.

Arrested in Budapest

Wynne's sentence began last November when he was arrested in Budapest, Hungary, and handed over to the Soviet authorities.

During the four-day trial, the court heard both men had spied for British and American intelligence. Most of the evidence based on confessions given by the two men.

Both men pleaded guilty - Wynne "with certain reservations".

The prosecution said Wynne had acted as a go-between passing on "information about Soviet rockets" provided for him by Penkovsky during secret meetings in London, Paris and Moscow.

After sentencing, the court also named British and American officials in Moscow who were said to have helped Wynne in his espionage activities.

British sources continue to deny Wynne was involved in spying.

After the trial, Wynne embraced his wife Sheila in a side room before being driven to the Lubyanka Prison where he has spent the last six months.

It is not known where he will spend the rest of his sentence. Mrs Wynne later told reporters her husband had joked he was not expecting "a Butlin's holiday camp".

Nikolai Borovik, Wynne's Soviet lawyer, said the businessman would appeal.

There are also hopes that he may be exchanged for Soviet spy Gordon Lonsdale, currently serving 25 years in a British prison.

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Greville Wynne (second from right) on trial in Moscow
Greville Wynne was sentenced after a four-day trial in Moscow



In Context
Two days later, the Russians expelled British diplomat Gervase Cowell - one of the Britons named in the trial as supporting Wynne in his spying efforts.

Oleg Penkovsky was executed by firing squad one week after the trial.

The Wynne-Penkovsky case came at the height of the Cold War when relations between the superpowers were particularly strained.

The Soviet authorities rejected appeals by Greville Wynne's lawyer but 17 months into his sentence, they agreed to exchange Wynne for Soviet spy Gordon Lonsdale, serving 25 years in the UK.

On his release, Wynne was in a poor state of health. He had lost a lot of weight and doctors said his time in prison had left him "emotionally and mentally exhausted". He spent 12 days in hospital before returning to his Chelsea home to be with his wife and son.

He died in 1990.

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