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Russia: Trial Of Alleged U.S. Spy To Reconvene

Moscow, 18 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - The judge in the trial against U.S. citizen Edmond Pope, accused of espionage, today accepted a motion to allow Pope to be examined by doctors. Pope's lawyer, Pavel Astakhov, petitioned the court to allow medical experts to examine Pope, who suffers from cancer. Astakhov wants an American doctor, as well as Russian physicians, to check Pope's condition. Astakhov said the trial will reconvene on Friday.

Pope was taken into custody in April on charges he was trying to purchase plans for a high-speed Russian torpedo. Pope maintains he is innocent and U.S. officials say he has been purchasing results of Russian scientific research for universities and businesses in the West since 1994.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, in Moscow for talks on combating international terrorism, said Pope should be released for medical treatment. Pickering said Washington regards the charges against Pope as farfetched.