A Soviet diplomat has returned to Moscow after being implicated in an alleged father-and-son spy scheme that may involve the most serious security breach in U.S. Navy history, officials said today.
The unidentified diplomat assigned to the Soviet Embassy was recalled by Moscow after federal agents saw him last Sunday at a "drop site" where 129 classified defense documents are alleged to have been left by John Walker, 47, a retired Navy communications specialist, said the Administration officials, who requested anonymity.
The site was just within the 25-mile limit from the center of Washington that Soviet diplomats can freely travel in without special authorization, FBI agents have said.
The diplomat apparently left Monday, the same day as Walker's arrest.
The Soviet Embassy declined to comment on the matter.
Son Also Charged
Walker, accused of spying for the Soviet Union for up to 18 years, has been charged along with his son Michael, 22, a seaman on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz, who has been accused of supplying the secrets.
Michael Walker will be returned to the United States from Israel on Saturday to face civilian prosecution for espionage, the Navy announced today.
The Navy said the younger Walker is scheduled to arrive aboard a C-9 Nightingale aircraft at nearby Andrews Air Force Base about 10:30 a.m. PDT, in the custody of Navy security agents who will turn him over to the FBI. The twin-engine jet is normally used as a medical evacuation plane.
Charges were brought against the Walkers in Baltimore, where the father is being held without bond. Conviction on the charges could mean life in prison.
More arrests of Americans are expected soon, the FBI has said. (Story on Page 13.)