IN THE NEWS ~ Release evidence, Russian tells feds; Delays linked to lack of evidence, ex-KGB employee charges

PUBLICATION: The Province DATE: 2009.09.02 EDITION: Final
SECTION: News PAGE: A11
ILLUSTRATION: Colour Photo: Reuters / Mikhail Lennikov reads over hisdeportation case yesterday while sitting in the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, where he sought sanctuary. ;
BYLINE: Lora Grindlay
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Release evidence, Russian tells feds; Delays linked to lack of evidence, ex-KGB employee charges
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A lack of documented evidence proving Mikhail Lennikov is a security risk is behind the federal government's stalling on releasing their files on him, says Burnaby MP Peter Julian.

The NDP MP and Lennikov stood side by side at a press conference yesterday in the East Vancouver church where Lennikov took sanctuary three months ago when he was declared a national-security risk and ordered deported.

Lennikov, who lived in Burnaby, worked briefly for the KGB in Russia before coming to Canada with his wife and son 12 years ago.

He made an access-to-information request three months ago for government files on himself and has only heard back from the RCMP. The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service both requested an extension.

Of the 59 pages in Lennikov's police file, two-thirds were censored. The released documents concern a car accident he was in last year and a complaint he made to the RCMP in 2007, when he feared he was being followed by the KGB because of his defection.

Julian said there is broad support for the Lennikov family and the government should release its evidence "to try and change public opinion."

"Very clearly, they don't have the information that will shift public opinion and I think their choice is to try to witRating 2 old as much information as possible," said the Burnaby MP.

"I think once you take out all of these banal parts of his file, you are probably not left with much at all."

Julian has written to Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart and asked her to get involved in making more of Lennikov's personal records available.

For his part, Lennikov said he is keeping busy doing chores around the church. He takes care of the plants, helps prepare for Sunday services and writes a blog.

He sees his wife and son regularly, but said emotional and financial strains are making their lives difficult.

A judicial review of the decision to deport Lennikov will be heard in Federal Court Sept. 10.

lgrindlay@theprovince.com

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PUBLICATION: The Toronto Star DATE: 2009.09.02
EDITION: Ont SECTION: News
PAGE: A16 SOURCE: From the Star's wire services
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Canada
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British Columbia

Ex-KGB agent presses Ottawa to open his files

A former KGB agent fighting deportation is accusing Ottawa of dragging its feet in releasing documents he claims will prove he's not a national security threat.

Mikhail Lennikov, who's been living in sanctuary in a Vancouver church since June, submitted a request three months ago under the Privacy Act for his personal files from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

NDP MP Peter Julian says the government missed a 30-day deadline to hand over the documents. The RCMP recently released a heavily censored file.

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PUBLICATION: The Daily News (Nanaimo) DATE: 2009.09.02
EDITION: Final SECTION: British Columbia
ILLUSTRATION: Photo: Reuters / Mikhail Lennikov looks over paperworkrelated to his deportation case while sitting in the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver. Lennikov, a former KGB agent, took sanctuary in the church three months ago. ;
DATELINE: VANCOUVER
BYLINE: Lora Grindlay SOURCE: CanwestNews Service
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MP defends ex-KGB facing deportation; Vancouver man has been living in a church for months
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A lack of documented evidence proving Mikhail Lennikov is a security risk is behind the federal government's stalling on releasing their files on him, says Burnaby MP Peter Julian.

The NDP MP and Lennikov stood side by side at a news conference Tuesday in the east Vancouver church where Lennikov took sanctuary three months ago when he was declared a national-security risk and ordered deported.

Lennikov, who lived in Burnaby, worked briefly for the KGB in Russia before coming to Canada with his wife and son 12 years ago.

He made a freedom of information request three months ago for government files on himself and has only heard back from the RCMP. The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service both requested an extension.

Of the 59-pages in Lennikov's police file, two-thirds were censored. The released documents concern a car accident he was in last year and a complaint he made to the RCMP in 2007, when he feared he was being followed by the KGB because of his defection.

Julian said there is broad support for the Lennikov family and it would make sense for the government to release its evidence "to try and change public opinion."

"Very clearly, they don't have the information that will shift public opinion and I think their choice is to try to withhold as much information as possible," said the Burnaby MP.

"I think once you take out all of these banal parts of his file, you are probably not left with much at all."

Julian has written to Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart and asked her to get involved in making more of Lennikov's personal records available.

Lennikov said he sees his wife and son regularly, but said emotional and financial strains are making their lives difficult.

A judicial review of the decision to deport Lennikov will be heard in federal court Sept. 10.

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PUBLICATION: The Daily News (Truro) DATE: 2009.09.02
SECTION: World COLUMN: In brief
DATELINE: VANCOUVER -
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Ex-KGB agent pushes access to personal files
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A former KGB agent is pushing Ottawa to get access to files held on him by Canada's spy agency, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Mikhail Lennikov has been staying in a Vancouver church since June to avoid deportation to Russia after the government declared him a national security risk.

But he's been fighting the decision in Federal Court and arguing the government has no evidence proving he's a threat to Canada.

Lennikov requested his personal files three months ago under the Access to Information and Privacy Act but so far only the RCMP have complied, handing over censored documents.

New Democrat MP Peter Julian, who's been advocating for his constituent Lennikov, says he believes Ottawa is stalling because it knows there's no evidence to back up its decision to deport the man.

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PUBLICATION: The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal DATE: 2009.09.02
SECTION: General News BYLINE: CP wire
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x-KGB agent pushes access to personal files to bolster case to stay in Canada
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THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER - A former KGB agent is pushing Ottawa to get access to files held on him by Canada's spy agency, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Mikhail Lennikov has been staying in a Vancouver church since June to avoid deportation to Russia after the government declared him a national security risk.

But he's been fighting the decision in Federal Court and arguing the government has no evidence proving he's a threat to Canada.

Lennikov requested his personal files three months ago under the Access to Information and Privacy Act but so far only the RCMP have complied, handing over censored documents.

New Democrat MP Peter Julian, who's been advocating for his constituent Lennikov, says he believes Ottawa is stalling because it knows there's no evidence to back up its decision to deport the man. Lennikov came to Canada to study 12 years ago with his wife and son, but when they applied to stay permanently he was told his stint with the KGB disqualified him from landed-immigrant status.

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