NEW YORK (Mar. 9)
Vladimir Slepak. Alexander Lerner and Anatoly Sharansky, the three Soviet Jewish refusnik leaders denounced in last Friday’s Izvestia as being paid CIA agents, have declared they are bringing a defamation of character suit against their accusers, according to the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.
The trio’s targets are the editors of Izvestia, the two writers of the article, and Dr. Sanya Lipavsky, whose purported “letter” was the basis of the attack. The venue of the suit is Moscow’s Frunze district court, the area where the paper is published.
The SSSJ and UCSJ also reported that Vitaly Rubin, also accused in the Izvestia article of being a CIA agent, has issued a categorical denial from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he now lives. The discussions with American Embassy officials and foreign correspondents, he said, “were not secret and had the character of normal, friendly contact.”
Continuing, Rubin said: “But we know that the KGB hated these meetings. If the so-called ‘letter’ of Lipavsky is not a fraud, then to force him to sign such a document, the KGB would have to apply to him exceptional means of pressure. The trumped-up stories have the aims of compromising Jewish activists and dissidents as American spies, stopping friendly contacts between Soviet citizens and foreign correspondents, and intimidating Jews in contact with Jewish activists.”