|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
FBI Spy Case: Russian Government Silent On Hanssen AllegationsAired February 20, 2001 - 1:46 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested in a park on Sunday. Today, he appeared in court. In federal court, we have just received sketches of his appearance before Judge Theresa Buchanan.
Hanssen was described as calm. That's him in the black turtle neck. And looked around the room, but apparently didn't seem to see anyone. That's according to our Bob Franken who was there as well.
And the FBI has reportedly said, of his arrest, that he was shocked when FBI agents surrounded him and arrested him on Sunday after he allegedly made this dead drop in a park in Virginia.
As we mentioned before we went to break, Russia reacting to this story. And we have CNN's Jill Dougherty live in Moscow now, where it's almost 10 o'clock in the evening -- Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, you know, just a footnote here: The KGB has undergone a lot of changes in the period. You know, Mr. Hanssen has alleged to spied both for the Soviet Union and present-day Russia. And the KGB has undergone some major changes. It was split into two sections. The FSB, which takes care of internal intelligence here in Russia. And then the SVR, which deals with external, foreign intelligence for Russia. And neither of those agencies hasn't had any official comments specifically about this case.
However, in a brief comment to Russian state television tonight, a spokesman for the SVR, Boris Labiusov, in a rather cynical statement about this fine business, indicated that he felt that the publicity about this case is politically motivated.
Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS LABIUSOV, FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (through translator): It's an old popular phase: One learns about a successful intelligence operation in case of his failure. And as long as the intelligence services exist, the dangers of failures will stay on. There will be exposed agents of durations that failed. It's a common thing. It will continue.
Though I have to make one point: If a spy case gets political, one should admittedly try to analyze why? What political figures may stand in behind? Who's going to win from getting the public attention?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: So, politicized spy cases are certainly on the minds here in Moscow. After all, only two months ago, there was a case of Edmond Pope, the American businessman who was arrested on charges of espionage. Found guilty. Pardoned by President Vladimir Putin. And there were many who even here believe that that was a highly- politicized case.
And certainly, Natalie, can not help relations between the United States and Russia. After all, they're tense to begin with at this point. Comments coming from the United States, criticizing Russia for spreading nuclear technology, et cetera. And this certainly will not help.
ALLEN: And, Jill, even though many people in this country have heard stories about how poor some of the Russian operations are in the military, these days, in the trouble that they are having with money and such. You talking about the KGB is a split operation now. But isn't it still considered a quite strong and viable unit?
DOUGHERTY: Well, it's always been the case that the -- let's say national security agencies here have always pretty much gotten what they wanted.
And you raise an interesting point; that if this had been a case of a man alleged to have spied for the old Soviet Union or something, it might be slightly different. Here, you have a case where he is alleged to have been taking money right up until the present day. And certainly, the focus for Russia has always been on how poverty- stricken their government is. So that's a legitimate, political point, I think, at this stage.
ALEN: Jill Dougherty in Moscow, thank you, Jill.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top|