Russian ‘spy’ breaks silence, wants to leave UK for Russia
July 23, 2010 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
One of the four Russian alleged spies that were handed over to the West in return for 11 Russian intelligence officers arrested in the US last month, has issued a public statement for the first time since his July 9 release from prison. At the time of his release, Dr. Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear expert who headed the Russian Academy of Sciences’ USA and Canada Institute, had served 11 years of a 15-year sentence, for allegedly passing state secrets to Alternative Futures, a British company alleged to be a CIA front by the Russian government. Once Washington included his name on the top-secret exchange list, Sutyagin was transferred from his prison cell in Kholmogory prison, near Arkhangelsk in northern Russia, to the Lefortovo high-security jail in Moscow. It was there that, following a meeting with this family, he was told that he would receive a Presidential pardon in exchange for his unconditional admission of guilt. Minutes after he agreed to the deal, the Russian scientist was flown to London, still in his prison uniform. According to Russian media, Sutyagin, who throughout his trial refused to admit that he worked as a foreign agent, initially screamed at Russian intelligence agents that he would never sign a confession of espionage. Later on, however, he recanted his stance, after he was told that he could only be sent abroad if he conceded to having worked as an agent of the CIA. Sutyagin then proceeded to “reluctantly” sign the confession document, according to Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komzomolez. Sutyagin has now broken his silence, issuing his first public statement since his release. Writing from the UK, where authorities have granted him unconditional permanent residence, the nuclear weapons expert said he missed his family and that he intends to return to Russia to join them. “A little bit sooner or a little bit later –I don’t know yet– but it will certainly happen”, his statement read. This is not the first time Sutyagin has expressed his determination to return to Russia. Earlier this month, Pavel Podvig, a supporter and former colleague of Sutyagin, said the alleged CIA agent intends to return to Russia, since “[h]e has Russian citizenship, his wife and daughters are in Russia and he has been pardoned by the President”.