Sergei Snegov: Russian NTV television channel doubts Pope’s innocence. At suggestion of US

The American press starts to openly doubt the innocence of American businessman Edmund Pope who was found guilty of spying by the Russian court, the NTV television channel reports citing The New York Times. The American newspaper quotes congressman John Peterson as answering “I do not know” when asked if Mr. Pope was guilty (the congressman was actively campaigning for Mr. Pope to be freed from the Russian jail). The newspaper also doubts the second argument put forward by the defence – Mr. Pope’s deteriorating health condition. Later, Mr. Pope himself told journalists that his health condition had not worsened during his 8 month long Lefortovo imprisonment. Moreover, Mr. Peterson now admits that the “health argument” was “part of the defence strategy.” So, Mr. Pope’s innocence and suffering are not evident even for the Americans, NTV states. At the same time, Mr. Pope is known to have closely collaborated with the Pentagon’s naval research department. One of the sources in US secret services describes this structure as a “place where business and espionage meet.” The New York Times comes to the following conclusion: “Possibly, he was not James Bond. Still, he was an unscrupulous dealer keeping company with intelligence officers.” Interestingly, it is NTV which took pains defending Mr. Pope at the time of court hearing that is so active in making public what The New York Times now says.

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