6 Jun 2009

Ex-US State official and wife face Cuba spy charges

11:34 am on 6 June 2009

A former US State Department official and his wife have been arrested for spying for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years.

The Justice Department said on Friday that Walter Kendall Myers, 72, aided by his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 71, used his top secret security clearance to pass on classified information to the Cuban government.

According to court documents, he met Cuban leader Fidel Castro at one point.

The pair are charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to Cuba. They are also charged with wire fraud and acting as illegal agents.

They face up to 35 years in prison.

The Cuban government had no immediate reaction.

According to court documents, they were recruited in 1979 by a Cuban official.

Myers worked part-time at the State Department from 1977 and joined full-time in 1985, eventually working his way up to a position of senior analyst specializing in intelligence analysis on European matters.

According to the affidavit, he had daily access to classified information and viewed more than 200 intelligence reports about Cuba.