Mon, July 12, 2010
World > Americas > U.S.-Russia spy case

U.S. Attorney General defends spy swap

2010-07-11 14:44:25 GMT2010-07-11 22:44:25 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday defended the spy swap with Russia, saying the deal brought back several individuals of interest to the United States.

Speaking to CBS' "Face the Nation," Holder said the exchange was an opportunity to get back four people "we have a great deal of interest" in.

The spy swap unfolded this month as the United States arrested 10 Russian spy suspects. They pleaded guilty to being illegal foreign agents, and were expelled in exchange for four people convicted in Russia of being Western spies.

Speaking earlier on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Friday, Vice President Joe Biden said his government "got back four really good ones" in the swap, and the Russian agents "hadn't done much" in their time in the United States.

Holder echoed Biden's assessment that the agents passed no secrets back to Moscow, but said they nevertheless posed potential threats to the United States.

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