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Dutch diplomat sentenced to 12 years for spying

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch court sentenced a diplomat to 12 years in prison Tuesday for delivering confidential NATO and European Union documents to Russian agents. The case, one of the worst spying affairs in the Netherlands in memory, is linked to that of a couple on trial in Germany on similar charges.

In Tuesday’s ruling, a three-judge panel at The Hague District Court said Raymond Poeteray had damaged the interests of the Dutch state and its allies by passing on sensitive military and political documents.

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‘‘The court considers it proven that he passed on confidential documents to the Russian Federation for years and on assignment from the Russian foreign intelligence service,’’ presiding judge A.J. Milius said, reading a written summary of the panel’s ruling.

He said Poeteray gave the Russians information about the civil war in Libya, EU fact-finding missions in Georgia, and Dutch peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, causing ‘‘substantial’’ damage.

Poeteray, 61, was working at the Netherlands’ Foreign Affairs Ministry after serving in the Dutch embassies in Hong Kong and Indonesia earlier in his diplomatic career, which began in 1978. He was arrested in March 2012 in connection with a German investigation.

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