Moscow, 16 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Russian research scientist was today sentenced to 12 years hard labour for allegedly passing top military secrets to the United States.
Itar-tass said that Moisei Finkel was convicted of high treason by Moscow's City Court.
Finkel denied the charges and said he would appeal.
Itar-Tass said Finkel, who had worked at a defense research facility, had contacted U.S. embassy officials in 1993 and offered to disclose data on submarine acoustic systems in return for $500,000. He also hoped to receive political asylum in the United States.
Finkel was arrested in 1994. Itar-tass said his three-month closed-door trial was held at Moscow's top security Lefortovo prison because testimony was too sensitive to be aired in court.
U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment.