A former civilian worker for the Army was convicted today of conspiring with a U.S. soldier to sell American military secrets to East German and Soviet agents.
The federal jury took seven hours over two days to find Huseyin Yildirim of Bellear Beach, Fla., guilty of serving as a courier for convicted spy and former Warrant Officer James W. Hall II.
Yildirim, a Turkish-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged with conspiring with Hall to sell classified information to Eastern Bloc agents between 1983 and 1988 when Hall was stationed in Germany and New Jersey. Yildirim was working as a civilian mechanic at an Army auto shop in Germany at the time.
Stationed at Nearby Fort
The trial was held in Savannah because Hall was stationed at nearby Ft. Stewart at the time of his arrest in December.
Hall pleaded guilty at a court-martial in March and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Yildirim, 61, faces a maximum life term in prison. U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield said he will sentence Yildirim within 60 days.
Defense attorney Lamar Walter called no witnesses to rebut the 32 witnesses for the prosecution or the more than 100 pieces of evidence used to link Yildirim to Hall's espionage activities.
Walter said he will appeal the verdict on the grounds that a videotape showing Hall discussing his espionage activities with an FBI agent posing as a Soviet diplomat should not have been admitted as evidence.
During the two-hour videotape, Hall identifies Yildirim as his go-between with the East German government.
Defense experts said the espionage scheme damaged U.S. intelligence efforts in Europe. Hall worked as an analyst of intercepted radio and telephone traffic and coded messages.