Alleged Russian spy released from Austrian prison

The Russian citizen, named by Austrian media as Vladimir Vozhzhov, who was detained in Austria on suspicion of espionage, has been released and is now in the Russian Embassy in Vienna. In an official statement the Embassy said Russia hopes no similar inci

The man was said to be in good health, and had been treated well.  

The 51-year-old employee of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roskosmos was in Austria for a meeting of the UN space committee. He was detained in the town of Gmunden near Salzburg on June 11.

The Russian Embassy in Vienna claims the move violated international conventions as the man had diplomatic immunity.

Teimuraz Ramishvili, the Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, explained why a diplomat cannot be deprived of immunity.

“As I understand, he was a member of the delegation to the international organisation. That’s why he has a status of a diplomat by the international legislation, but there is another international convention, which is called the ”Convention On the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations," Mr  Ramishvili  said.

Those privileges and immunities, he continued, “are similar to the privileges granted to diplomats. It means that a criminal charge cannot be initiated against a person who was granted such a status.  However, administrative charges can be brought”.