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Ex-KGB Agent Charged with Conspiring to Obtain Information on ‘Star Wars’

November 5, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ A former KGB agent is being accused of conspiring to obtain information on the ``Star Wars″ defense system for Russia, federal officials said.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service issued a statement Monday from Moscow protesting the arrest of Vladimir Galkin, who both Russian and U.S. authorities say is a former KGB agent.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Rindskopf said Galkin will be arraigned on charges of attempting to gather information on U.S. national defense, ``with reason to believe the information was to be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of any foreign nation.″

His alleged accomplice, Aluru J. Prasad, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and president of Hyderabad Batteries Ltd. of India, is accused of trying to obtain classified documents. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer and he is to be tried again on Dec. 9.

In court papers, FBI agent Stanton M. Felton said Prasad, Galkin and unnamed ``others″ conspired to obtain U.S. military data that included plans for the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as Star Wars or SDI. The plan, first proposed by President Reagan, calls for building a vast, space-based laser shield against a massive Soviet missile attack.

Felton said Galkin and Prasad tried to obtain SDI material through Subrahmayam M. Kota, of Northboro, Mass., an employee of Data General Corp. Kota was a key witness at Prasad’s trial.

The affidavit quotes Kota as saying Prasad quit trying to get useful information from him in 1990, after which Kota began receiving calls from Galkin.

Court papers said Galkin offered Kota $10,000 for each of three reports on conferences and symposiums dealing with SDI, electronic warfare and other strategic and tactical systems being developed by the United States.

The Russian Intelligence Service said Galkin ``was indeed a foreign intelligence officer until 1992,″ and had provided this information in his application for a U.S. visa.

It said the visa application was submitted Oct. 14 and approved Oct. 24 _ the same day a warrant was issued for Galkin’s arrest. Galkin was arrested Oct. 29 at Kennedy International Airport.

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