Russia has convicted in absentia a former agent who allegedly switched sides and helped expose a number of spies who had been sent to the United States. Among the spies allegedly betrayed by Alexander Poteyev was Anna Chapman, who has since become something of a media star.
Anna Chapman and nine other alleged Russian agents were captured in the US last year after being under surveillance for some time. They were subsequently swapped for four alleged MI6 and CIA spies being held in Russia. The case became particularly high-profile following the publication of naked photos of Chapman.
Russian prosecutors say that 59-year-old Alexander Poteyev betrayed the Russian spies after leaving Russia and heading first to Belarus and then on to the United States. He is believed to still be in the US, and it was reported last year that a Russian assassin had been sent to track him down and kill him. That attempt failed, however, and Poteyev – wherever he is – has now been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his alleged betrayal of Russian spies.