Putin charges Russian spies with treason for helping US - local reports

Russian news agencies report spies have been charged with treason

The Kremlin in Moscow, the heart of the Russian government

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Local reports in Russia claim three former spies and a cyber-security expert have been charged with treason by the country's government, on suspicion of aiding the United States.

Three of those charged - FSB officers Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchayev, and Kaspersky expert Ruslan Stoyanov - have been named by lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who represents a fourth, as-yet-unnamed suspect.

Pavlov, who specialises in treason cases, was quoted by the Interfax and state Tass news agencies as saying that the men were charged on Wednesday, suspected of helping America.

Pavlov added that his client denies all charges.

Some have suggest the charge centres on the alleged hack of the US election, as well as a rumoured struggle for power within the security services. 

A spokesman for the Kremlin said he couldn't confirm whether President Vladimir Putin was aware of the charge against the four defendants.