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Ex-FBI Agent Denied Bail Before New Trial

Richard W. Miller, the former FBI agent whose espionage conviction was overturned by an appeals court, lost a bid Wednesday to be freed on bail pending his third trial.

In a three-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David Kenyon in Los Angeles said the weight of the evidence against the former agent, combined with the risk that he will flee before trial, precludes Miller’s release on bail.

Miller, 51, the only FBI agent ever convicted of spying, has been in prison since his arrest in October, 1984, at his home outside San Diego. His first trial ended with a deadlocked jury in 1985.

But in June, 1986, Miller was convicted of passing government secrets to the Soviets through his lover, Russian immigrant Svetlana Ogorodnikova. Sentenced to two life terms plus 50 years in prison, he is serving his time in Rochester, Minn.

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Miller’s conviction was reversed April 25 by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said, among other things, that his trial was biased by evidence that he failed lie detector tests about his purported spying activities. Prosecutors have said they will appeal that decision.


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