News / USA

Two Accused Russian Spies Held Without Bail in New York

Larry Freund

A married couple accused by U.S. officials of spying for Russia appeared in a New York court Thursday and were ordered to be held in jail until their trial begins. A third defendant was ordered released on bail, while a fourth defendant requested a delay in his bail hearing.

Two couples, Richard Murphy and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez  and Juan Lazaro, were brought before federal magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis for a hearing to determine if they should be released on bail.

Judge Ellis ruled that the Murphys should remain in prison until their trial and that Pelaez should be released under what he called strict bail conditions - $250,000 bond, a security ankle bracelet and home incarceration. At the beginning of the session, Lazaro asked for a postponement of his own bail hearing and the judge agreed.

All four of the defendants - in addition to seven others - have been accused by the U.S. of spying for Russia. The charges include conspiracy, money laundering and failing to register with the U.S. government as foreign agents. U.S. officials say the defendants were placed in the United States for a long-term program to gather information.

In his presentation to the judge, U.S. prosecutor Michael Farbiarz said the evidence against the defendants is extremely strong - he used the word devastating several times - and argued that the heart of the offense is secret global travel, and about deception and lies.

Attorneys for the Murphys and Pelaez maintained that there is little risk that their clients would flee. The lawyer representing Pelaez said the charges against her are, in his words, a tempest in a teapot - that is, they amount to very little. He said the Peruvian-born journalist had not used a false name, had traveled on her own passport and has her reputation to defend.

Judge Ellis, in allowing Pelaez to be freed on bail, said she does not appear to be a trained agent. However, in refusing bail for the Murphys, the judge said he did not know the true identity of the couple, adding that the government evidence against them is strong and indicates that they are trained agents of a foreign government, using false identities.

The prosecutor indicated that the government will appeal the judge's decision to release Pelaez on bail.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid