Former US special forces officer found guilty of spying for Russia

EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

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Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, a former officer in the United States Army’s elite Green Berets has pleaded guilty to spying for Russia, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. “Debbins betrayed his oath, his country, and his Special Forces team members with the intent to harm the United States and help Russia”, said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. The records were obtained secretly last year during a two-month period and include a list of calls made from numbers at the agency’s New York headquarters as well as offices in Washington and Connecticut and home and mobile phone numbers of reporters, AP chief executive Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder. The records were obtained secretly last year during a two-month period and include a list of calls made from numbers at the agency's New York headquarters as well as offices in Washington and Connecticut and home and mobile phone numbers of reporters, AP chief executive Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder. Debbins faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced in February. US officials improperly seized records for 20 telephone numbers of Associated Press journalists, the news agency alleged in a letter 13 May to the Justice Department. According to news reports citing the indictment, Debbins’s mother was born in the Soviet Union, and he met his wife in Chelyabinsk, where they were married in 1997. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

The United States Department of Justice building is pictured in downtown Washington, DC, USA, 14 May 2013. “In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia”, the Justice Department said, citing a handwritten confession. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Former US special forces officer found guilty of spying for Russia

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa03700054 The United States Department of Justice building is pictured in downtown Washington, DC, USA, 14 May 2013. The department added that, before joining the Green Berets, Debbins served as an officer in US Army chemical units and provided the Russian intelligence agents with classified information about the Special Forces units. The agency is under fire for secretly obtaining two months of phone records of Associated Press reporters. US officials improperly seized records for 20 telephone numbers of Associated Press journalists, the news agency alleged in a letter 13 May to the Justice Department. The agency is under fire for secretly obtaining two months of phone records of Associated Press reporters.