American spy met Lukashenka?
11:53, — Politics
US navy officer Patrick Hoffman, whose trial has started on 16 August, claimed he met the Belarusian dictator.
His case is considered by the Norfolk county court in Virginia, Radio Svaboda reports. Robert Patrick Hoffman (in the picture) is being accused of attempted leakage of information to Russian intelligence.
Scott Doherty, a journalist of the local PilotOnline.com, who is following the proceedings, has reported that the officer actually was in Belarus and met Lukashenka administration officials, or people who claimed they were ones.
“Hoffman was in Belarus, apparently in August 2011, - Scott Doherty noted. – The women he dated, he told he had met the Belarusian president. During the investigation he, though, claimed he only met his officials”.
The journalist said that Hoffman had ordered the manufacturing of 40 gilded coins with the old Belarusian flag on one side, and the new one on the other.
“He said it had only cost him 450 dollars. Allegedly, he presented two of the coins to Lukashenka. At least, that is what he told agent Tracy. The rest of the coins he gave away to “Russian” dancers as he travelled around Bahrain and Jordan. I do not know the exact names – Ira, Olia or Inna”.
It is not clear why a former American navy officer would spend half a thousand dollars on souvenir Belarusian coins.
Scott Doherty believes that the FBI has no proof that Hoffman leaked any information to Belarusian special services. However, it is obvious that he was well-prepared for the trip to Belarus.
His meeting with the Belarusian ruler was reported by a 22-year old FBI agent known under the nickname Tracy. By an FBI instruction he started romantic correspondence with Hoffman, Their “romance” lasted for 5 months. Hoffman told her about the meeting with Lukashenka on a date in August 2012.
The retired officer, accused of attempting to establish contacts with Russian special services, confirmed in court that he had met Lukashenka.
Robert Patrick Hoffman worked for 20 years as a cryptologist for the USA Navy. He possesses secret information in American submarines. The counsels claim that he did not attempt to harm his country, despite, according to the prosecution, was ready to pass a USB-stick with secret information to Russian special services. In case he is found guilty, Hoffman will face a life term.