Alleged Russian Spy to Register Plea Friday
U.S. court documents indicate a Russian citizen accused of spying will register a plea Friday, ahead of his federal trial next month.
Evgeny Buryakov is accused of posing as an employee of a Russian bank in New York City to gain information for Moscow's foreign intelligence agency, known as the SVR.
Prosecutors' documents indicate Buryakov could register a plea of guilty or not guilty on Friday. He is set to face trial in federal court in Manhattan on April 4.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Buryakov's arrest in January 2015, after he held multiple secret meetings with an undercover FBI agent that Buryakov believed to be an energy company analyst.
Prosecutors say he conspired with two other Russian men to gather U.S. economic intelligence, including details about U.S. sanctions against Moscow. He is also accused of trying to recruit New York residents as intelligence contacts.
Former Intelligence Chief: Cash-strapped N. Korea Could Sell Nuclear Materials
While North Korea’s recent claim that it has miniaturized nuclear warheads drew skepticism in the United States, there is growing concern in Washington that Pyongyang could transfer nuclear technology or materials to other countries.
Analysts say there may be mixed assessments of how advanced Pyongyang’s nuclear program is, but there appears to be little doubt that the country is expanding its nuclear stockpile. Nuclear experts at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies estimate that North Korea currently has between 10 and 16 nuclear weapons and it could possess as many as 100 weapons by 2020.
Leon Panetta, a former CIA director and former U.S. defense secretary, said Pyongyang’s nuclear transfer is a “very real concern.”
Former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair warned Pyongyang could be more tempted to sell its nuclear materials or technology to earn cash amid increased sanctions.