4 Jul 2010

Spy suspects denied bail

9:08 am on 4 July 2010

Three suspected Russian spies held by the United States have been denied bail by a Virginia court.

The suspects were returned to jail after two admitted being Russian citizens living under assumed names. They were arrested last Sunday and are due to appear in court again next week.

Six suspects were earlier denied bail in New York and an 11th is at large in Cyprus.

Prosecutors say the children of suspects Mikhail Kutzik and Natalia Pereverzeva are to be sent back to Russia to live with relatives.

The couple had been living under the names Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills.

US authorities are not sure of the true identities of the eight children involved in the case - or if they are related to the suspects at all.

But federal prosecutors said Mr Kutzik and Ms Pereverzeva have instructed a family friend caring for their children, aged one and three, to take them back to Russia to live with their relatives.

The couple appeared along with another suspect in court in Virginia briefly on Friday.

The 10 suspects are accused of conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of a foreign government.