'Superspy' seeks political asylum in Sweden

  • 2000-08-03
VILNIUS (BNS) - Lithuanian computer specialist Pavel Ilyin, who gained fame in a spying scandal this June, has applied for political asylum in Sweden after taking a ferry to the country from a port in Poland last week.

Swedish authorities have temporarily put Ilyin in a refugee camp close to the city of Malmo in the south of the country, the daily Respublika reported on Aug.1. It said that the Lithuanian national is unlikely to be granted a refugee status in Sweden because Lithuania and Sweden have signed an agreement on return of refugees.

The daily said that Ilyin is trying to get the attention of Swedish reporters and tell about the alleged violations of human rights in Lithuania. Ilyin said he is prepared to tell about the arrests of innocent people in Lithuania and the administration's provocative actions against the Union of Lithuanian Poles, in which Ilyin was allegedly active.

After hearing about Ilyin's public statements in Sweden, deputy director general of the Lithuanian State Security Department, Arvydas Pocius, expressed doubts about Ilyin's mental fitness.

"I doubt if his actions are in line with reality. It seems like he is out of his mind," Respublika quoted Pocius as saying.

Ilyin won fame this June after the Russian Federal Security Service announced an arrest of a person suspected of spying for Lithuania and the United States. Ilyin said that the statements were revenge for an unsuccessful attempt to recruit him.

Ilyin immediately reported the recruitment attempts to the Lithuanian State Security Department. However, Russian secret services continued to teach him conspiracy, gave him cipher books and a name of Timophey.

His cooperation with the FSB came to ruin after Russian agents invited him to the Russian Kaliningrad region to test the new agent, intoxicated him with psychotropic substances and extracted a confession.