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Russian Patriarchate Employee Jailed For Being American Spy

A former employee of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations has been sentenced to 12 years in jail on espionage charges.

The Moscow City Court found Yevgeny Petrin guilty on June 14 of high treason in favor of the United States and sentenced him the same day.

The case against Petrin, who was arrested in January 2015, was classified, and his trial -- which started in May -- was held behind closed doors.

Petrin's lawyers said earlier that their client had pleaded not guilty.

Petrin's relatives said Petrin used to work for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) but quit the agency in 2013.

The case is one of several in recent years in which Russian citizens have been accused of treason or disseminating classified or sensitive information.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Rapsinews

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