Chicago Tribune 1996

Chicago Tribune !

Copyright 1996 Chicago Tribune Company
Chicago Tribune

February 22, 1996 Thursday, EVENING UPDATE EDITION


LENGTH: 399 words


A self-styled Cold War double agent filed suit against the Central Intelligence Agency Wednesday seeking compensation for what he depicted as a brutal cloak-and-dagger betrayal.

The suit seeks an allegedly promised $25,000 annuity and other allowances for Boris Korczak, a Polish refugee who claims to have been recruited by the CIA in Denmark in 1973 and later shot at on two continents.

Korczak, 56, told reporters outside the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, where the suit was filed, that he had used an electronic equipment importing firm in Copenhagen as a “front” for dealings with the KGB, the former Soviet security service.

Korczak, who is also known as Boris Korczak-Sielicki, maintains that his cover was blown at a Soviet embassy party in 1979 by a drunken U.S. embassy official.

“This resulted in a violent confrontation with the KGB, gunfire, a car chase through Copenhagen and plaintiffs hasty exit to the United States,” according to a complaint filed with the court.

The complaint alleged that Korczak’s case officer, his link to the CIA, had demanded a bribe to “see what he could do” for Korczak after he took up residence on a three-month tourist visa in Fairfax, Va., not far from CIA headquarters.

Korczak, who described himself as a collector, said he had handed over medieval Russian icons, a golden money clip and a four-carat diamond ring, among other valuables, to the case officer, who was named in the court papers.

The CIA, citing a long-standing policy, declined to confirm or deny whether Korczak or the person he named as his case officer had been in its pay.

“We don’t comment on matters in litigation,” spokesman Mark Mansfield said.

The alleged CIA case officer did not return a phone call.

The complaint said the case officer, after allegedly accepting the bribe, warned Korczak against pursuing his financial claims against the CIA.

“The implication of the threat was that plaintiff would be in physical danger,” Randy Mott, Korczak’s pro-bono lawyer, wrote in court papers.

Three months later, on Aug.14, 1981, Korczak was shot “with a special pellet” and seriously wounded while he was grocery shopping in Vienna, Va., hospital records show. The pellet removed from his right kidney “was not commercially available and did not correspond to any publicly available firearms,” the complaint said.