Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Son of jailed ex-CIA spy: I was just a messenger

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The son of an imprisoned ex-CIA spy claims he was "just the messenger" when he traveled around the world taking cash from his father's former Russian handlers, according to taped phone conversations played in court Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors played the recordings of Nathaniel Nicholson talking to friends and relatives, telling them the FBI had interviewed him but he had done nothing wrong and did not expect to go to prison.
At one point, an unidentified friend says Russians "have cool accents" and asks, "We're not like, against the Russians, are we?"
Nicholson and his father, Harold Nicholson, have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to act as agents of a foreign government and money laundering. Prosecutors say the younger Nicholson traveled on behalf of his father, who pleading guilty in 1997 to conspiring to commit espionage after being paid $300,000 to pass CIA secrets to the Russians, including the identities of other CIA officers and recruits he had trained.
Harold Nicholson is accused of tapping his old contacts for more money by sending his youngest son to San Francisco; Mexico City; Lima, Peru; and Nicosia, Cyprus, between October 2006 and December 2008.

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