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Switzerland judge seeks prosecution of CIA-affiliated engineers for giving nuclear secrets to Pakistan

A Swiss judge on Thursday called for the prosecution of three engineers who have links to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] for allegedly smuggling nuclear weapons technology to Pakistan. After six years of investigation, Swiss federal magistrate Andreas Mueller recommended [The Independent report] that the three engineers be tried for providing weapons-related technology to a Pakistani smuggling ring run by Abdul Qadeer Khan [BBC profile]. Brothers Urs and Marco Tinner, along with their father Friedrich, were arrested in 2004 on suspicion of smuggling, but were eventually released. The Tinners said that had been informants for the CIA [official website] since 2003. Khan has confessed to giving nuclear technology to Iran and Libya.

In September, an American scientist and his wife were indicted [JURIST report] for conspiring to sell nuclear weapons information to an individual they believed worked for the Venezuelan government. Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Mascheroni, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] and appeared before the US District Court for the District of New Mexico. The defendants used to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and possessed classified nuclear weapons knowledge. According to the indictment, between March 2008 and August 2009, Pedro Mascheroni, who is a naturalized US citizen, negotiated a deal with an undercover FBI agent he believed to be a Venezuelan official in which he would help the country develop a nuclear weapon in exchange for over $700,000.

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