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Former Spy Joins Former Communist Left Party

Published torsdag 20 juli 2006 kl 12.43

A notorious former Soviet spy has publicly joined the ranks of the Left Party.

Stig Sydholt, formerly known as Stig Bergling, served nearly 12 years in prison for leaking extremely sensitive military secrets to Moscow during the Cold War.

The Left Party is Sweden’s fifth largest political group and has worked hard to shed its communist image after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. The former spy’s announcement, just two months ahead of national elections, was headline news here as it was the first time Sydholt expressed sympathies for a political party.

A Left Party spokesperson said Sydholt’s revelation could have a negative impact on the party but said, ”At the same time we believe he has paid for his crimes. All people must get a second chance.”

The former spy, who was pardoned and released from prison in 1997 after having served half of his 23-year sentence, has insisted that his espionage was motivated by money rather than ideology.

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