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The Independent Online
A Russian arrested for allegedly passing secrets to four British diplomats who were expelled from Moscow in May was a junior diplomat with a passion for writing spy novels, the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty claimed yesterday.

While the Russian authorities were preparing to charge Platon Obukhov with treason, he had told his interrogators that he had only been meeting the British in order to gather material for his latest novel, the newspaper said. The book could be called Playing with Death, it commented, for that is the sentence Mr Obukhov faces if his case comes to trial and he is convicted.

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