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Israeli Attache Expelled ‘for Spying’

Russia has expelled an Israeli military attache to Moscow on suspicion of espionage, media reports said Wednesday.

Israel’s military has rejected the charges as “unfounded,” saying in a statement that the officer underwent a “thorough investigation” after returning home.

The officer, whom Israeli media identified as Colonel Vadim Leiderman, took a lie detector test in Israel, Interfax said.

The military said the officer “was detained for investigation last week by Russian authorities on suspicion of spying.”

Israeli Channel 2 television said he was taken away by Russian agents during dinner. He was questioned and expelled Saturday, news web site Dp.ru said.

Russian intelligence accused the officer of passing sensitive information to Israel, Channel 2 reported.

Leiderman became attache in 2008 and his tenure was to expire in June, Dp.ru said. He is to be replaced by Colonel Kobi Haviv.

(AP, MT)

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