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Student Got Orders : FBI Says Spy Suspect Tried Total Control

August 26, 1986|ROBERT L. JACKSON | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — An accused Soviet spy at the United Nations who was arrested over the weekend tried to control the life of the college student who was supplying him with documents, giving orders to the young man about his education, employment and even his marital status, the FBI said Monday.

In a formal complaint charging Gennadiy Fedorovich Zakharov, a Soviet scientific officer at the United Nations, with conspiring to obtain and transmit secret defense documents to the Soviet Union, officials recounted how a student at Queens College in New York whom Zakharov befriended had cooperated secretly with the FBI.

The complaint said Zakharov first approached the unidentified student in April, 1983, and met him repeatedly, often at the subway stop in Queens where agents made the arrest late Saturday.

Zakharov, meanwhile, was held without bail Monday pending completion of his arraignment on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Carol Amon in Brooklyn. Prosecutors argued that Zakharov should be denied bond, contending that he is likely to flee the country if released.

Amon postponed a decision for 48 hours at the request of Zakharov's attorney, John Mage, who said he needed more time to study the case.

The 13-page complaint, filed in federal court in Brooklyn and made available at FBI headquarters here, said agents who searched Zakharov's second-floor apartment in the Bronx found secret writing paper, coded pads, chemicals used to develop secret messages and "greeting cards and other documents containing microdots"--nearly invisible specks with encoded data.

Officials said agents also found telephone records and pay documents that apparently are related to other foreign espionage agents. But they cautioned against the expectation of more arrests soon.

$1,000 for Documents

Zakharov, 39, was seized late Saturday by FBI agents after he was observed paying $1,000 for classified national defense documents provided by his student contact, who several months ago got a job with a New York-area defense subcontractor. The student was supplying Zakharov with secret documents for the first time, authorities said.

The young informant, whom the FBI has not yet identified, was handing over papers requested by Zakharov related to U.S. Air Force jet engines, officials said. The FBI has not named the subcontracting firm, except to say that it performs work for General Electric Co. and Bendix Corp., both of which have U.S. Air Force and aerospace propulsion contracts.

Illustrating what one government official called the "total control" that Soviet spies often demand over American collaborators, the FBI complaint said Zakharov--who is believed to be a member of the Soviet secret police--paid the student to have professional resumes prepared to assist him in getting a job with a defense contractor after he was graduated from college earlier this year.

Told Not to Marry

"Additionally, Zakharov advised . . . that the Soviets would be willing to pay for educational expenses if (the student) wanted to go to graduate school," the complaint said. Zakharov also advised his contact that he should remain unmarried, it said.

In cooperating with the FBI, the student--described as a permanent resident alien from the Latin American country of Guyana--carried tape-recording equipment under his clothing, allowing FBI agents to document all of Zakharov's instructions, officials disclosed.

Although Zakharov initially asked the student in 1983 only for unclassified scientific data on robotics, computers and artificial intelligence, the suspect in recent months demanded classified documents from the subcontractor, including papers marked "confidential" from a company safe, according to the government's complaint.

He also asked his contact to "photocopy the first few pages of the operating manuals" for machines used by the firm to manufacture jet engine parts, the complaint said, and insisted that the student sign an agreement last May to collaborate with him for 10 years.

Officials said Zakharov's wife and 12-year-old daughter were scheduled to return to New York over the weekend from home leave in the Soviet Union, but they did not do so.

The Soviet Union has sent a protest note to the United Nations, contending that Zakharov was arrested on false charges, U.N. spokesman Joe Sills said.

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