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Russian Reports Say Convicted Spy Sutyagin In Vienna


Igor Sutyagin, charged with espionage, in the dock in a Moscow court in April 2004
Russian news agencies report that Igor Sutyagin, a Russian convicted of spying for the United States, has been flown to Vienna in what appears to be the first step of a Russia-U.S. spy swap.

Agencies RIA Novosti and Interfax quoted Sutyagin's lawyer, Anna Stavitskaya, and rights activist Ernst Chorny as saying Sutyagin's family was informed by phone that he arrived in Vienna today.

Both Stavitskaya and Chorny said they could not get confirmation of that claim from Russian authorities or other sources.

"I have no comments on this issue," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in response to the reports. "The only comment we had was published on our website on June 29 and I have nothing else to say about this."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred all questions on the topic to the Justice Department.

Sutyagin's relatives say he had told them he was going to be one of 11 convicted spies in Russia who would be freed in exchange for 10 people charged by the United States with being Russian agents.

The 10 spy suspects were expected to be arraigned in a joint appearance in a New York federal court today.

The FBI arrested 10 alleged members of a Russian spy ring in the United States late last month.

An 11th suspect was arrested in Cyprus but later disappeared.

compiled from agency reports