Igor Sutyagin says he was given a laced tumbler of cognac
A former Russian academic who was sent to Britain this summer as part of the biggest spy swap since the Cold War has said he believes that Russia’s FSB security service used mind-bending psychotropic drugs on him.
Igor Sutyagin, who now lives in London, arrived in Britain in July after he and three other men convicted of spying for the West were swapped for ten Russian agents including the glamorous Anna Chapman who had been arrested by the FBI in America.
The 45-year-old researcher has always denied that he was a Western spy and has said he would like to return to Russia where his wife and two daughters live. Since settling in Britain, he has therefore tried to avoid antagonising the Kremlin.
In a Russian-language book however he wrote about his ordeal, suggesting that he and others were illegally drugged by the FSB security service during pretrial interrogation “to loosen their tongues.”
He described one incident in 2003 when he was given a tumbler of cognac laced with an unknown psychotropic drug and then encouraged to consume a bowl of borsch or beetroot soup in order to stop him noticing the drug’s strong odour later. Once the drug had taken effect, he said the FSB filmed a strange interview with him which it showed on Russian TV as proof that he was a spy. Soon afterwards, he said he began to suffer inexplicable short-term memory loss.
His family disclosed separately that he still suffered from a range of symptoms including chronic fatigue.
In another episode, he described how a cellmate was drugged after smoking a cigarette that had been doctored.
An FSB source on Thursday dismissed the claims as “a complete fabrication” that Mr Sutyagin had dreamt up to attract attention to himself.
By Andrew Osborn, Moscow 8:16PM GMT 25 Nov 2010
Source: The Telegraph