US lawyer expelled from Moscow

By James Barnes

21 May 2013 at 11:22 BST

A US lawyer and former US embassy worker in Moscow was expelled from Russia after reportedly refusing to co-operate with a Russian spy agency.

Moscow: Baker Mac lawyer sent packing

CNN reports that Thomas Firestone was refused admission to Russia two weeks ago after returning from a trip abroad, according to his law firm, Chicago-founded Baker & McKenzie.

Detained and interrogated

Mr Firestone – who was posted to the US embassy in Moscow by the Justice Department but had left the US government to work at Baker & McKenzie - was detained and interrogated at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for 15 hours and then declared persona non grata.
In a statement, Baker & McKenzie said: ‘We have no reason to believe that our colleague has engaged in wrongdoing of any kind… Neither our colleague nor we have been informed of the reason for this action.’

Spy games

According to reports, an acquaintance of Mr Firestone claims that in March the lawyer turned down a request from Russian intelligence to spy for Russia.
The Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the reports.
The events follow the expulsion of US Embassy worker Ryan Fogle who was accused of trying to recruit Russians to spy for the US.


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