MOSCOW -- The Soviet Union, using a scenario that matched charges made by one-time defector Vitaly Yurchenko, accused the CIA Monday of kidnapping a Soviet scientist in Spain and subjecting him to nine months of 'mental torture.'
The government newspaper Izvestia also contended Spanish authorities had been uncooperative in investigations into the disappearance of Vladimir Alexandrov, a Soviet scientist who specializes in space-based missile defense research.
Alexandrov disappeared from the Hotel Havana in Madrid March 31, the newspaper said.
Since then, Izvestia alleged, the CIA has been keeping the scientist 'in custody and subjecting him to brutal mental torture methods, which have been practiced on their numerous victims.'
The story bore a strong resemblance to charges made in November by Yurchenko, a KGB official who surfaced in Washington saying he had been kidnapped by the CIA in Italy, where he was investigating Alexandrov's disappearance, then drugged and brought to the United States.
Some U.S. officials said Yurchenko, who returned to the Soviet Union after walking away from a CIA bodyguard at a Washington restaurant, actually was a defector who apparently changed his mind. Others have wondered whether he was deliberately planted by the KGB.
Izvestia said it decided Alexandrov's disappearance was a CIA kidnapping because of an article in the Washington Times newspaper by Ralph de Toledano, the journalist who first reported the story of Yurchenko's alleged defection to the West.
'Ralph de Toledano was the first American journalist to quote the same sources and describe according to the same pattern and practically in the same terms the 'defection' to the West of Soviet diplomat Vitaly Yurchenko,' Izvestia said.
'If one is to believe Ralph de Toledano, Alexandrov's address is known now -- it is the CIA's headquarters in Langley, (Va.),' it said.