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Kremlin comes before son: spy

world Updated: Jul 03, 2010 00:37 IST

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A suspect in the Russia spy saga cracked after his arrest, confessing that he was a Russian agent and saying he had greater loyalty to the Kremlin than to his own son, US prosecutors said here.

The suspect, who operated under the false identity of Juan Lazaro, also revealed that his Peruvian born journalist wife, Vicky Pelaez, made several trips to South America to give intelligence to their Russian spymasters.

The couple are among 11 “deep-cover” suspects charged with trying to infiltrate US policymaking circles in a Cold War-style spy case.

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara outlined Lazaro’s remarkable confession in a letter to Judge Ronald Ellis, imploring him not to make the same mistake as a local court in Cyprus, which freed a key conspirator on bail who later fled.

Lazaro confessed that he was not Uruguayan and that “Juan Lazaro” was not his real name, though he never revealed his true identity.

He also told investigators that “although he loved his son, he would not violate his loyalty to the ‘Service’ even for his son,” according to the letter.

The “Service” is short for Russia’s foreign intelligence service SVR, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.