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Russia and US in possible spy exchange deal.

A lawyer representing a man jailed for spying in Russia says her client might to be exchanged for one of 10 alleged Russian spies being held in the US.

The lawyer said Igor Sutyagin, who was convicted of espionage in 2004, had told her he was one of 10 people to be deported from Russia in a swap.

There is no word on any spy exchange from Russian officials.

In June, 10 people were arrested in the US on suspicion of working as illegal agents for the Russian government.

An 11th suspect described as a member of the ring was arrested in Cyprus but later went missing after being released on bail.

Sutyagin, a nuclear weapons specialist, is serving a 15-year jail sentence for passing information to a UK firm allegedly used as a front by the CIA.

His lawyer said he had now been moved from a prison colony in the Russian North back to Moscow.

The 11 alleged members of the Russian spy ring in the US are accused of conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of a foreign government, a crime less serious than espionage but which carries up to five years in prison.

Three of the suspects - Mikhail Kutzik, Natalia Pereverzeva, and Mikhail Semenko - are due to appear in court in Virginia later on Wednesday.

Mr Kutzik and Ms Pereverzeva had been living as a couple with their children in Arlington, near Washington DC. They have admitted being Russian citizens operating under assumed names.

Prosecutors say they and Mr Semenko were among a ring of "illegals" working for Russian intelligence, and attempting to infiltrate US policy-making circles.

On Wednesday, the New York Times quoted sources close to the case as saying the federal government was seeking a rapid resolution.

Src & Text: [BBC]

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