Freed Russian spy ‘dumped with no visa or cash’July 12th, 2010 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS
London, July 12 (IANS) A Russian secret agent freed last week is stranded in a hotel in a ‘provincial’ town on the outskirts of London, a media report said Monday.
Igor Sutyagin is still in his prison clothes, without cash and only a phone card with limited credit to make contact with his family, Daily Mail reported on its website.
The homesick Russian is said to be “lonely and confused” about his alleged treatment by MI6, which shatters the James Bond image of last Friday’s choreographed spy hand-over by espionage chiefs in Washington and Moscow.
Sutyagin, 45, arrived in Britain on a CIA-chartered jet in the most dramatic spy swap since the end of the Cold War.
The nuclear weapons expert was one of four Russians exchanged for 10 spies operating in the US, including ‘femme fatale’ Anna Chapman.
He had been convicted of passing on information about Russia’s spy fleet to a London firm that was being used as a front for the CIA.
Along with Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence accused of spying for Britain, he was one of two Russians who decided to stay in the UK rather than fly on to Washington in the swap deal.
On Sunday, in a brief call home before his phone card ran out, Sutyagin told his wife Irina Manannikova: “I am now in a small provincial British town. I have a Russian passport but no British visa.”
“They promised that on Monday I will meet with officials who will decide on the issue of granting me the visa and on my further stay in Britain.”
His brother Dmitry said: “He said he’s in a small town on the outskirts of London but where exactly he doesn’t know because when he was taken there he wasn’t told anything.
“There are no bodyguards, no escort, but he cannot leave the hotel, since there are no stamps and no visa in his passport.
“He was brought to Britain in his inmate’s overalls, which he wore at Lefortovo Prison in Moscow. The way he looks, he certainly cannot go out.
“He somehow managed to get a phone card and call us from a payphone. Skripal is in the same hotel, as Sutyagin. The plane went on to the US with the other two agents.
It is understood Sutyagin will Monday meet British officials to decide his future status. It is unclear if this will include full scale debriefing by MI6.
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