May 23, 2011
Military attache in Russia has been warned
Israel’s military attaché to Russia was expelled after three warnings, according to a Russian newspaper.
Vadim Leiderman, expelled earlier this month on suspicion of spying, continued to contact Russian military officials without coordinating with the Russian Foreign Ministry, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported, according to Israeli media reports.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Leiderman of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in its warnings. The warnings are reported to have been issued in November 2009, April 2010, and December 2010.
Leiderman reportedly was arrested at a coffee shop in Moscow, where he was meeting with a Russian military officer. He and his family were given 24 hours to leave the country.
Leiderman was investigated by the Shin Bet security service and the Defense Ministry and submitted to a lie detector test before Israeli officials declared that Russian accusations of espionage were unfounded.
Russia’s security service told reporters in Moscow that Leiderman had attempted to glean information on secret military sales to Arab states and that he had attempted to recruit Russian civilians as spies for Israel. He has also been accused of lobbying on behalf of an Israeli defense company.