Thursday, 29 January, 2009

US men charged in Russia spy case

A jailed ex-CIA agent and his son have been charged in the US with receiving money from and channeling information to his former Russian handlers.

Harold Nicholson, 58, is serving a 23-year term in Oregon for previous spying activities after pleading guilty in 1997 to selling secrets to Russia.

He is now accused of using his son Nathaniel to pass on new data between 2006 and 2008 in return for money.

Nathaniel was arrested on Thursday and the pair are to appear in court later.

Both father and son are charged with conspiracy, money laundering and conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government.

Justice officials allege Nathaniel Nicholson, 24, visited his father in prison several times in order to obtain information to pass on to the Russians.

He then travelled to places including San Francisco, Mexico City, Lima and Cyprus to meet Russian representatives and receive payments of $35,593 (£24,900), the officials say.

They believe the Russians thought his father still had useful information to divulge about how he had been caught and what the investigators had learnt about Russian spying practices.

Nathaniel is alleged then to have passed on the money to other family members, at the direction of his father.

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