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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutor Requests 20 Years For Pope

Russian prosecutors called Wednesday for a 20-year prison sentence for U.S. businessman Edmond Pope at his closed-door spying trial in Moscow, Pope's lawyer old reporters.

The sentence would be the maximum allowable on the charges Pope faces.

Pope, a former U.S. naval intelligence officer, has said he was researching openly available military technology, but Russia says he bought secrets.

The case has been a thorn in Russian-U.S. relations. U.S. President Bill Clinton has personally asked for Pope to be freed on health grounds, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the judicial process must run its course before he can consider a pardon or an early release.