Friday, May 20, 2011

Russia Expels Israeli Military Attache for 'Industrial Espionage'

Via -

In a scandal that risks souring traditionally good relations between the two countries, Russian security sources claimed that Air Force Colonel Vadim Leiderman, Israel's military attaché in Russia, had been caught "red-handed" receiving classified documents in Moscow last Thursday.

"This deals entirely with industrial espionage or rather his overly active work on behalf of certain Israeli companies on the Russian market," a Russian security source told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Col Leiderman was reportedly detained at a café where he was meeting a source from the Russian defence ministry and questioned for several hours before being told to leave the country within 48 hours.

Israel's Haaretz daily said the Soviet-born diplomat's expulsion was the first incident of its kind in almost two decades. Israeli officials insisted Col Leiderman had been questioned on his return and put through a lie-detector test, and that the allegations against him were "without foundation". According to claims in the Israeli media, Russia had attempted to recruit him as a double agent and grown angry when he refused.

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