US Sentenced to 15 Years for Espionage of Former Green Boss
Miami World / Diario las Americas
The sentence of 15 years and eight months imposed on Peter Dzibinski Debbins, 46, of Gainesville, Virginia, by Federal Judge Claude Hilton almost corresponded to the 17 years requested by the prosecution. The defense had tried to give him five years.
Debbins’ attorney, David Benowitz, argued that the damage caused by espionage was minimal and that Russian agents extorted money from Debbins by threatening to reveal her sexual orientation to people of the same sex at a time when the military rule was in force. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. It was a policy that allowed any homosexual or bisexual to remain in the US military as long as they concealed their sexual orientation or else they would be expelled. The policy was repealed by President Barack Obama in 2010.
At the hearing on Friday, Debbins offered something of an apology. He highlighted having been a victim of the Russian intelligence service GRU and assured that he is now in danger of suffering reprisals for his confession.
“I have suffered in solitary silence for 15 years,” Debbins said. Regarding the danger posed by the Russian service, he said that “the GRU does not threaten, the GRU keeps promises.”
Prosecutors said that in 20 hours of questioning Debbins never revealed to the FBI that he was being extorted. They said that he made up the pretext and that the original version of his motives is much more plausible: that he was bitter about his time in the army and that he considered himself a “loyal son of Russia.”