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25 Mar, 2010 12:56

Russian military officers jailed for spying for Georgia

Two Russian military officers and a Georgian citizen have been given lengthy prison sentences after being found guilty of spying for Georgia.

Russian news agencies reported on Thursday that the military court of the North Caucasus Military District had sentenced lieutenant colonels Khvichi Imerishvili and Marlen Bogdanov to 13 and 15 years in prison respectively for high treason, and Georgian citizen Zaza Kherkeladze to 11 years for espionage.

Russian investigators established that one of the accused, Imerishvili, was recruited by the Georgian intelligence as he visited his Georgian relatives in 2007. After that, he supplied his recruiters with classified military data and also chose other potential agents.

A short time later he helped Georgian agent Kherkeladze to get forged papers and receive a Russian residence permit. That allowed the Georgian to gather information about Russian military units in the northern Caucasus. Imeritishvili also personally recruited Bogdanov, who started to supply the Georgians with information about Russia’s Federal Security Service.

Bogdanov received US$6000 for his work, while Imeritishvili received a Toyota automobile.