Former KGB agent living in B.C. church denied federal court review

A former Russian KGB employee who’s been living in a Vancouver church since he was ordered to leave Canada almost four months ago has been hit with another legal setback in his bid to fight deportation.

VANCOUVER — A former Russian KGB employee who’s been living in a Vancouver church since he was ordered to leave Canada almost four months ago has been hit with another legal setback in his bid to fight deportation.

In a decision released Tuesday, a federal court judge rejected Mikhail Lennikov’s application for a judicial review.

The Immigration and Refugee Board had previously denied Lennikov permanent residence and, in February, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan refused to grant him an appeal.

In his 24-page decision, Justice Michel Beaudry dismissed the man’s application to have the federal minister’s decision overturned. He concluded there are no reviewable errors that warrant intervention.

“(Lennikov) and his family and his supporters are really disappointed in the ruling and he hopes to be able to talk to his lawyer about the implications,” said Russell Collins, a member of council for the First Lutheran Church where the man has been living.

Collins said Lennikov is looking over the decision and despite the ruling, “at the moment, (our) decision to grant sanctuary still stands.”

Lennikov has said he worked as a translator with the notorious Soviet spy service several decades ago, but denies he ever engaged in espionage. He said he had a low-level position, mainly as a translator.

Lennikov was granted a permit to study in Canada in July 1997, and his family joined him that September. His wife Irina and teenage son Dmitri have been granted status in Canada, but immigration officials and Ottawa say his association with the KGB means he poses a security risk.

The 49-year-old had been living in Burnaby, B.C., until June, when he took sanctuary in the church to avoid deportation. He fears he’ll face repercussions if forced to return to Russia.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read