MOSCOW — Russia on May 18 sentenced a worker at a weapons plant to eight years in jail for handing over secret information to foreign intelligence, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The Sverdlovsk regional court found Alexander Gniteyev guilty of treason and he will serve his term in a high-security prison, it cited a court statement as saying. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 rubles ($32,500).
Earlier this month, a law enforcement source told the Interfax news agency that the employee at a defense facility in the Urals had been charged with espionage for disclosing data on the Bulava, Russia’s latest submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The intercontinental nuclear-capable missile was developed to replace Russia’s Soviet-era stock.
Gniteyev went on trial this month in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg with hearings closed to the public. The court’s website lists his case but does not detail the charges.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda daily earlier this month cited sources as saying that Gniteyev was an engineer at the Avtomatika production plant and that he was paid $50,000 for handing over diagrams of one of the missile’s systems.
The Russian authorities usually keep a tight lid on military and security matters including espionage cases.
In February, a Moscow court convicted a space engineer of espionage and jailed him for 13 years for passing information about strategic missile tests to the CIA.
The Bulava project has suffered numerous failed launches over the past decade but was approved late last year after several successful launches.