Former KGB officer facing deportation voluntarily leaves Canada

Mikhail LennikovA Russian former officer in the Soviet KGB, who defied deportation orders issued against him by the Canadian government by taking refuge in a Vancouver church for six consecutive years, has voluntarily left the country. Mikhail Lennikov, who spent five years working for the KGB in the 1980s, had been living in Canada with his wife and son since 1992. But in 2009, Canada’s Public Safety Ministry rejected Lennikov’s refugee claim and notified him that he could “be ordered deported from the country in as early as a few weeks”.

Canadian authorities have refused to reveal the precise reason for the decision to issue deportation orders against the former KGB agent. But it is believed that his Soviet intelligence background is perceived by Canadian authorities as a national security threat. Lennikov has consistently rejected accusations that he is a threat to Canada’s national security and has previously stated that he voluntarily revealed his KGB background to Canadian authorities. He has also said that if sent back to Russia he could face imprisonment for having revealed his KGB background to a foreign government. In 2009, the former KGB officer sought refuge at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, where he lived until recently. Meanwhile, his wife and children, who have no connections to Soviet or Russian intelligence, were awarded asylum and eventually Canadian citizenship.

Last week, however, it emerged that Lennikov had left the Vancouver church that had been his home for six years. His lawyer, Hadayt Nazami, told reporters that the former KGB officer had left Canada. His departure appears to have taken place after an agreement was struck between him and the Canada Border Services Agency. Nazami said on Sunday that Lennikov had “left at the end of this week and left on his own accord, voluntarily, according to his own wishes and decisions he reached himself”. Canadian media reported that it “no longer seemed to be the case” that Lennikov would face treason charges if he went back to Russia. When asked about Lennikov’s whereabouts, Nazami told journalists that it was “something that I cannot comment on”, but added that his client “feels safe and we are going by that assumption”. Lennikov’s wife and children, who are Canadian citizens, plan to remain in Canada, said Nazami.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 19 August 2015 | Permalink

News you may have missed #656: Outed spies edition

Alexander LennikovBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Iran seeks death penalty for alleged CIA spy. Iran is seeking the death penalty for an American man accused of working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. At his trial Tuesday, Amir Mizraei Hekmati said the CIA sent him to Iran to infiltrate Iran’s intelligence systems, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported. Sources in America deny Hekmati’s intelligence connections and say the confession was coerced. Washington has also accused Iran of denying Hekmati access to Swiss consular officials.
►►North Korean alleged spy ‘kills self’ in South. A man who claimed to be a North Korean defector has reportedly committed suicide after allegedly confessing that he was sent to spy on the South. During questioning, the unnamed man, who was in his 30s, said he had received orders from Pyongyang to report on a South Korean organization that helps defectors from the North.
►►Ex-KGB spy spends third Christmas in Vancouver church. Ex-KGB spy Alexander Lennikov (pictured) has been living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992. But in 2009, the Canadian government ordered him to leave the country, under a law which dictates that any former member of a spy agency that spies on democratic governments is inadmissible to Canada. Since then, he has taken sanctuary at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, and has not left the building. For previous intelNews coverage of this story see here.

News you may have missed #0276

  • Canadian government rejects ex-KGB agent’s deportation appeal. Vic Toews, Canada’s newly installed minister for public safety, has rejected a fresh appeal by former KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov to be allowed to remain in Canada. Lennikov, who has been living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992, is described by Canadian authorities as “a threat to […] national security”.
  • Analysis: CIA and intelligence community mythologies. Former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, currently senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, offers a very informative checklist of what he calls “the mythology that surrounds the [US] intelligence enterprise”. Worth reading.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0117

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0086

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0048

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 987 other followers