Canada court lets son of spies from Rus­sia keep cit­i­zen­ship

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD -

TORONTO — Canada’s Supreme Court ruled Thurs­day that he son of a Rus­sian spy cou­ple who lived clan­des­tine lives in Canada and the United States can keep his Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship.

Alexan­der Vav­ilov was born in Toronto, which would typ­i­cally qual­ify him for Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship. But au­thor­i­ties had ruled him in­el­i­gi­ble be­cause his par­ents were in a no­to­ri­ous Rus­sian spy ring in North Amer­ica that was bro­ken up by the FBI in 2010.

The high court re­jected that find­ing, mean­ing Vav­ilov can re­side in the coun­try where his par­ents once lived as deeply em­bed­ded spies who were the mod­els for the TV show “The Amer­i­cans.”

Vav­ilov’s lawyer Ha­dayt Nazami said his client plans to move back to Canada from Rus­sia.

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment ar­gued he wasn’t en­ti­tled to cit­i­zen­ship and ap­pealed to the Supreme Court to an­nul the pass­port granted to him by a lower court. The top court up­held that rul­ing.

Vav­ilov’s sup­port­ers said a son shouldn’t pay for the sins of his par­ents, while crit­ics con­tend his claim to be a Cana­dian by birth was based on a fraud since he and his par­ents lived un­der stolen iden­ti­ties as they col­lected in­tel­li­gence.

Canada, like the U.S., grants cit­i­zen­ship to any­one born within its ter­ri­tory with lim­ited ex­cep­tions, such as the chil­dren of diplo­mats.

The gov­ern­ment ar­gued that Vav­ilov’s par­ents were em­ploy­ees or rep­re­sen­ta­tives of a for­eign gov­ern­ment and thus in­el­i­gi­ble. Vav­ilov’s lawyer ar­gued that they were not of­fi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives and that all that mat­ters is his client’s phys­i­cal birth­place.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.