Europe

Russian former policeman Yevgeny Chistov 'spied for CIA'

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flag is displayed on stage during a conference on national security entitled "The Ethos and Profession of Intelligence" in Washington October 27, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Russia's security service said the man had passed state secrets to the CIA for three years

Russia has convicted a former policeman on high treason charges, accusing him of spying for the CIA, according to security services.

A Moscow court sentenced Yevgeny Chistov to 13 years in prison, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

According to the FSB, he pleaded guilty and confirmed that he had passed state secrets to the CIA for three years.

His conviction is one of a number of high-profile high treason and spying cases over the past year.

There were no independent reports of Mr Chistov's trial, which was first reported by Russian news agencies on Thursday.

The FSB said Mr Chistov established contact with the US Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 while he served at the Russian interior ministry, "acting on his own initiative and out of self interest."

The agency said he "collected information available to him through the ministry, including state secrets, and leaked it abroad for monetary reward".

The number of convictions for treason in Russia tripled in 2014, the Moscow Times reports.

In September, Gennady Kravtsov, an engineer who once worked for Russia's military intelligence, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for seeking a job at a Swedish company.

And last month, a court in western Russia sentenced a Russian man to 12 years in jail for spying for Ukraine's border service.

In 2012, President Vladimir Putin signed a law redefining treason in Russia amid fears it may be used to stifle dissent.

The maximum punishment for high treason is 20 years in prison.

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