Hearing for Virginia Spy Suspects Postponed - NBC4 Washington

Hearing for Virginia Spy Suspects Postponed



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    A judge postponed a hearing on Thursday for three people living in the D.C. area accused of being foreign agents.

    Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan postponed the hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., until Friday at the request of attorneys representing Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills.

    Zottoli, Mills and Mikhail Semenko appeared at the hearing. Semenko appeared without an attorney after telling the court earlier in the week that he would hire his own.

    On Thursday, he asked the court to appoint an attorney.

    The judge also postponed Semenko's hearing until Friday.

    Federal authorities arrested the three at their Arlington homes this week and charged them with being foreign agents. They were among 11 people taken into custody.

    Prosecutors said that they intend to seek indictments late next week in the Southern District of New York.

    Geremy Kamens, attorney for Zottoli, declined to comment on why he sought to postpone the hearing, referring to his comment in court that he had recently received new information from the government.

    Charles Burnham, attorney for Mills, would not offer any comment on why he asked to postpone the hearing for 24 hours.

    Prosecutor Michael Farbiarz told a New York federal magistrate judge on Thursday that there are a lot of Russian officials in the United States who are actively assisting the conspiracy. The defendants have a "powerful sophisticated network they can call upon in the United States" he said in arguing against bail at a hearing for four suspects in New York.

    Among the information prosecutors submitted to underscore evidence that they said was so strong that the judge should deny bail for those four defendants was a letter saying Juan Lazaro, a resident of Yonkers, N.Y., made a lengthy post-arrest statement in which he admitted that Juan Lazaro is not his true name and that he passed letters to Russian intelligence.