Syria Live Blog
US gives prison term to Syrian agent
A Syrian man in Virginia has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting he spied on U.S.-based Syrian dissidents while working with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mohamad Soueid, 47, of Leesburg pleaded guilty earlier this year to acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the Syrian government. But his guilty plea had been under seal until Friday, when he was sentenced in federal court in Alexandria.
Court papers show Soueid admitted sending video and audio recordings of Syrian dissidents to members of the Syrian intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat.
He also personally discussed dissident activity in the US with Assad in a private meeting in Syria last year.
Soueid's attorney, federal public defender Michael Nachmanoff, said the sentence was a fair one. The 18-month sentence was much shorter than the six-year term sought by the government. The defense had argued for a one-year sentence.