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Ex-KGB officer ordered out of Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 2 (UPI) -- A former officer with the Soviet KGB intelligence service sought sanctuary in a Vancouver church Tuesday after being ordered out of Canada, the CBC reported.

A judge denied the appeal of Mikhail Lennikov, 48, Monday, disputing the man's claim his life would be at risk in Russia as he would be considered a traitor.

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Lennikov was ordered to board a flight for Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday morning, but has gone to the First Lutheran Church in hopes of finding refuge, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said it has learned.

"It's kind of an act of desperation for me and my family to stay together," Lennikov told the CBC.

The Rev. Richard Hergesheimer said his church was prepared to help Lennikov, who was well-known to the congregation, avoid deportation.

Lennikov, his wife and son arrived in Canada in 1997 after Lennikov quit the KGB, where he worked as a Japanese translator for five years. His various appeals to remain in Canada included the facts he didn't hide his past and was voluntarily debriefed by Canadian intelligence staff, the CBC said.

When the family applied for resident status last fall, the government deemed him a security risk and ordered the whole family deported, but his wife and son were granted permanent residency in March on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

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As for the strain of family separation, the judge said Lennikov's wife and son would experience the same difficulties as any other immigrant family.

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