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Russia refuses bail for U.S spy suspect

Edmond Pope
Refused bail: Edmond Pope  

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- A Russian court has denied an appeal by Edmond Pope, a U.S. businessman, to be released from jail where he is being held on charges of espionage.

Pope, 54, had applied for release on bail, saying he suffers from a rare form of bone cancer.

He is accused of illegally purchasing plans for a high-tech underwater missile. Pope, a former U.S. Naval officer, says he is not guilty of the charges against him.

CNN's Steve Harrigan in Moscow said Pope was dressed in a suit and seemed frail when he appeared before the judge in a steel cage as is tradition in a Russian courtroom.

Pope has been in a Russian jail for five months.

He says he is not getting the medical treatment he needs and that he does not understand the treatment he is getting. Requests by Pope and the U.S. Government for the prisoner to be allowed to see a U.S. doctor have been denied.

Two weeks ago the U.S. State Department said the imprisonment of businessman Pope on espionage charges could have implications for other Americans traveling to Russia.

Cheryl Pope
Pope's wife Cheryl was allowed prison visit  

Cheryl Pope has been allowed to visit her husband in Lefortovo prison and reported that he was in a fragile state and has been denied adequate medical care.

"He appeared much weaker, physically and mentally. He is having a very difficult time and he appears very tired," Cheryl Pope told reporters after the visit earlier this month

Pope's rare form of bone cancer was in remission when he left for Russia in March, his family says.

Pope runs CERF Technologies International, a consulting firm in State College, Pennsylvania, that developed commercial contacts with Russian organisations.

He was arrested in his Moscow hotel room by agents of the FSB, formerly the KGB, and accused of trying to buy secret design information on a super-fast silent torpedo called the "Squall."



RELATED STORIES:
Jailing of U.S. man in Moscow raises 'serious concerns'
August 29, 2000
Russians detain U.S. diplomat for spying
November 30, 1999
Accused U.S. spy gets reprieve from Russia
January 7, 1998
Russia frees U.S. engineer accused of spying
Dec. 6, 1997
Cold War Experience: Espionage

RELATED SITES:
CERF International
U.S. State Department travel warnings

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