The US State Department has questions concerning hearings of scientist Igor Sutyagin's case in Russia, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli told journalists in Washington on Tuesday.
On Monday a jury in Moscow unanimously found Sutyagin guilty of high treason and by a majority of votes the jurymen decided that he did not deserve leniency.
On Tuesday the verdict was discussed and the prosecutor demanded that Sutyagin should be sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment in a maximum-security prison.
"The case was tried behind closed doors and we do not know what evidence was produced," Ereli said.
Hearings of Sutyagin's case began on November 3, 2003. Head of the military-technical and military-economic division of the foreign political studies department of the US and Canada Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sutyagin is accused of disclosing state secrets to the British consulting company Alternative Futures.
According to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), this company was a cover for US intelligence and had no bearing on scientific activities.
Sutyagin has pleaded not guilty. He acknowledges that he provided some information about Russia to foreign citizens, but says he took it from open sources, newspapers and magazines.
Sutyagin's criminal case was tried by the Kaluga regional court (the Central federal district). On December 27, 2001 the court sent the case for further investigation, having decided that preliminary investigation had made "significant violations of criminal procedural legislation." The court found the charges against Sutyagin not concrete. After the supplementary investigation carried out by the FSB investigation department, the case was submitted to the Moscow City court.
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