Russia: Attaché 'caught red handed' receiving secrets

Television report shows footage of Liederman's arrest and interrogation, claims he approached "a number of officials" seeking secret info.

May 21, 2011 21:24
1 minute read.
Russian footage of Col. Vadim Leiderman

Russian footage of Col. Vadim Leiderman 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)


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Col. Vadim Leiderman, Israel’s military attaché who was expelled from Moscow earlier this month, tried to obtain classified details regarding Russian arms sales to Arab countries, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday.

Russia's foreign ministry told AFP that Leiderman was "caught red-handed" while trying to receive secret information on May 12 during a meeting with a source at a restaurant in Moscow. Israel has rejected the accusations and officials said that Leiderman was questioned at length by the Shin Bet upon his return to Israel 10 days ago.

Gov’t reviewing Russia defense ties after expulsion
'IDF attaché sought intel. on Russia-Arab arms trade'

Russian television aired footage of Leiderman’s arrest and subsequent interrogation.

Leiderman had approached "a number of Russian state workers for secret information about ... Russia's military and technological cooperation with - and assistance for - a number of Arab nations," according to an FSB statement quoted by AFP. It added that Russia had decided to keep the expulsion secret as a "gesture of goodwill."

On Friday, The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel was reconsidering several Russian requests to purchase Israeli military hardware in light of the deportation of the IDF attaché from Moscow.

Israel has so far sold older model unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia which has expressed interest in more advanced models as well. It is also interested in additional Israeli-made intelligence platforms, as well as command- and-control systems to upgrade communications within its military.

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