By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — One or several of the spy suspects arrested in New York and elsewhere last month may be traded for a Russian physicist imprisoned for allegedly funneling information to the United States, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Russian authorities have not confirmed rumors of the exchange, which began with the scientist, Igor Sutyagin's, mother, according to the Times.
Sutyagin was moved this week from a colony in northern Russia to Moscow, where he met with American officials, his mother told the paper.
“He said they made him sign a confession of guilt and that there was not much time, as they should accuse those detained in America tomorrow,” she said, according to the Times.
Sutyagin's lawyer, Anna Stavitskaya, confirmed the trade, saying "They are going to swap him, among others, for those who have been detained in America," according to the paper.
Sutyagin, a former arms control researcher, was arrested in 1999 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly passing secrets about nuclear submarines and missile warning systems to the C.I.A., the Times said.
He maintained his innocence until this week, when he was compelled by American authorities to sign a confession, his mother told the paper.