JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s military attache to Russia was expelled on suspicion of spying after three warnings, according to a Russian newspaper.
Vadim Leiderman, who was expelled earlier this month, had 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 last December.
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, which they did.
Israel’s Shin Bet security service and Defense Ministry investigated Leiderman, and he 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 recruit Russian civilians as spies for Israel. He also has been accused of lobbying on behalf of an Israeli defense company.