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No spy charge to be filed in missile data transfer

The Justice Department will not pursue espionage charges against an Air Force officer who reportedly gave Soviet diplomats information so sensitive that targets and codes for Titan missiles had to be changed.

Lt. Christopher M. Cooke is confined at McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita , Kan., charged with making three visits to the Soviet Embassy in Washington in December and May.

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A Justice Department spokesman said the alleged contacts -- barred by Air Force regulations -- do not seem to fall within the department's jurisdiction over espionage cases.

"We have no jurisdiction," he said . "It's strictly a military matter."

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