Hiding KGB agent faces deportation from Canada


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Jun 29, 2009
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Hiding KGB agent faces deportation from Canada

Vancouver: Canada is set to throw out a former KGB agent who is hiding in a church here for the past four months.

Mikhail Lennikov, 49, who is hiding in the religious place since June to avoid deportation to Russia, lost his last chance to stay in Canada when the country's apex court rejected his plea Tuesday.

The former agent, who came to Canada 12 years ago with his family to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, was ordered to be deported because of his past association with the KGB.

The spy had filed for refugee status, but his application was rejected by the country's immigration and refugee board three years ago on the grounds of his past which made him inadmissible to remain in Canada.

After rejection of his application, he was ordered to be deported by the Canadian public safety minister. But the former spy filed a review petition in the Federal Court and sought sanctuary in a city church to avoid arrest and deportation.

The Federal Court threw out his petition Tuesday, paving the way for his deportation to Russia.

The former spy has maintained that he was forced to work for the KGB because of his language skills. He said he left Russia only to dissociate himself from the KGB.

Funny as the Canadian immigration system is, his wife and son have been allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds.

In a similar case three months ago, a Pakistani couple was deported but their children were allowed to stay on in Canada.

Under what many have called a broken system, more than 60,000 cases are pending before Canada's immigration and refugee board. Cases linger on for years, costing millions of dollars to Canadian taxpayers.

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