December 21, 1996 in Nation/World

Cia Officer To Stay In Prison Until Trial

Compiled From Wire Services

A former CIA officer accused of selling secrets to Russia must remain jailed until his April 14 trial because of a high risk he might flee prosecution, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Harold J. Nicholson pleaded innocent Friday to charges of selling secrets to Moscow since 1994 for more than $180,000. Last month, he pleaded innocent to one count of conspiracy to commit espionage.

Nicholson, a 16-year CIA veteran, was arrested Nov. 16 at Washington’s Dulles Airport while allegedly on his way to deliver secrets to Russians in Switzerland.

Nicholson, who could face up to life in prison, is the highest-ranking CIA officer ever charged as a turncoat.

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