Soviet Scientist Deported As Spy (Gazette)
By JOEL RUIMY and MAURICE BIGIO of The Gazette
RCMP agents smuggled deported Soviet scientist Lez Grigoryevlch Khvostantsev aboard an Aeroflot flight to MOSCOW last night at the abrupt culmination of Canada's second spy scandal in as many months. The security men eluded the awaiting reporters at Mirabel International Airport,
The 39-year-old Khvostantsev, on expert in high-pressure physics, left Montreal aboard an Ilyushin-62 passenger jet at 7:45 p.m. along with 51 other passengers on the Paris-Moscow flight. Khvostantsev was arrested Wednesday night after be tried unsuccessfully to buy classified documents from a fellow scientist at the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa.
The deportation order read, in part: "You have become a person who . . . there are reasonable grounds to believe . . . is likely to engage in espionage. sabotage or any other subversive activity directed against Canada and detrimental to the security of Canada." The order, signed by Immigration Minister Bud Cullen, concluded: "I hereby order you to be deported from Canada pursuant to sub-section 7.5 of the (Immigration Act, dealing with espionage)."
External Affairs Minister Don Jamieson said the incident "does not do anything to enhance either our exchange programs or our bilateral relations" with Moscow. "A representative of the Soviet embassy in Ottawa was called in yesterday and advised of our views in very strong language, "the minister in Ottawa. The minister no classified material changed hands : ''It was possible to provide non-classified material during the investigation."
RCMP Superintendent John Bentham explained what Khvostantsev is alleged to have done: "In November, 1978, Khvostantsev actively cultivated a friendship with a National Research Council scientist." Bentham said, explaining the Russian was in Canada far a 10-month exchange visit., "In early February, 1977, the NRC scientist reported to the RCMP through his superiors at NRC that Mr. Khvostantsev had offered him money in ex- change for certain Canadian classified documents.
The RCMP then supplied the scientist - who was not named but was identified as a "non-Canadian" - with two unclassified documents. When Khvostantsev bought them from his colleague Wednesday night, , RCMP agents took him into custody.
It was not known what kind of documents the spy was seeking. Rene Pappone, press attach for the immigration department, under whose jurisdiction the case falls, said Khvostantsev was detained in Ottawa after his arrest. "He spent the night of Wednesday to Thursday at the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Detention Centre . . . a place we usually use when the immigration department Is involved." He was removed from the centre "some time after the noon hour today (Thursday) and brought to a location which we cannot reveal." Pappone would not say where Khvostantsev had been held between the time he left Ottawa and the time he boarded the plane for the Soviet Union.
In Ottawa yesterday. acting Soviet Ambassador Nicolai Makarov said external affairs had permitted him to speak with the scientist Wednesday night: ''Mr. Khvostantsev categorically denied the charges, he was indignant and he said he was completely innocent." Makarov said. "He maintained normal contacts with Canadian scientists (during his stay at the NRC) and he had access to usually open scientific material."
When asked if the Soviet Union would issue a diplomatic note over the incident, he replied: "We are very sad about the affair but It has been decided not to issue a note yet. "We have been speaking with Moscow and it was decided to first investigate this incident."
Makarov said that at no time did the accused spy ever have contacts with embassy staff during his stay in the country, a statement borne out by Jamieson, who said no other Russians appeared to be implicated.
Since 1973. Khvostantsev had published two scientific articles a year in Soviet journals, and he was a member of the Institute of High-Pressure Physics at Moscow's Akadem Gorod. Among his works are "Superconducting Properties of certain Compounds . . . under High Temperature and Pressure" and "Magnetic properties of Metals and Semi-Conductors under Quasi Hydro-Static Pressure." A librarian at McGill's Engineering Faculty said the accused spy's works had been translated and made available to English-speaking colleagues.
Makarov described the scientist as a "well-respected man in Western scientific circles, Twenty-three Russians now are visiting Canada under an exchange program similar to the one that brought Khvostantsev here. Seventeen Canadians. including 14 students, are in the U.S.S.R. Jamieson said no action would be taken against the other Soviet scientists here, "and that speaks for itself."
The Soviet scientist's expulsion comes about a month after five Cubans, including three diplomats, were expelled or told to stay out of Canada for their participation In a spy school at Cuba's consulate in Montreal. Three of the Cubans were unnamed Montreal-based officials kicked out for ''conduct incompatible with their status in Canada," an external affairs official had said. The other two - identified as McGill University post-graduate student Hector Arazoza and businessman Santo Hernandez Cuesta - were ordered out under articles of the Immigration act dealing with espionage.