Russian lawyer says that New York court to start hearing microelectronics smuggling case on Oct. 17

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York will start hearings on alleged illegal shipments of dual-purpose microelectronics from the U.S. to Russia on Wednesday, October 17, lawyer Aleksei Tarasov representing one of the defendants, Anastasia Diatlova, told Interfax.

"In Texas, we tried to transfer this case from New York to Houston, but we failed. Now the defendants will be transferred to New York, and the first hearing there will begin next Wednesday," Tarasov said in a telephone interview with Interfax early on Saturday.

The first step at the New York court will be the filing of a request that the case be transferred back to Houston, Texas, he said.

It could possibly become clear on Monday what lawyers would be defending the Russians to be tried under this case, Tarasov said. Most of the lawyers who represented their interests in Houston will not continue doing so in New York, he said.

Tarasov also could not answer definitely whether he will be defending Diatlova, saying that he had other plans for this date earlier. However, "if the client wishes that I continue represent her interests in New York, I could possibly change my plans," he said.

Officials from the Russian Consulate General in New York will follow the proceedings involving the Russians, he said.

"I was present at a meeting where Russian diplomats promised that Russian consulate workers in New York will provide assistance similar to what was in Houston. First of all, they will meet with Diatlova," Tarasov said.

A total of eight people have been arrested under this case. Most of the defendants are U.S. citizens, and four of them, i.e. Diatlova, Alexander Posobilov, Viktoria Klebanova, and Alexander Fishenko, also have Russian passports.

Fishenko is the prime suspect in the case. He is the owner of the Houston-based company Arc Electronics, which, according to U.S. prosecutors, was illegally reselling hi-tech microelectronics bought from U.S. manufacturers to Russia.

Last week, the court heard testimony by FBI agent Crosby Houpt, who claimed that Arc Electronics had sold cutting-edge microelectronics that could have a wide range of military uses to Russia. Houpt testified, in particular, that it was evident from intercepted emails and telephone conversations that Posobilov lied to a U.S. manufacturer in August 2011 that Arc Electronics wanted to buy some equipment for a fishing boat navigation system, while in fact it was intended for the Russian Navy.

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