A former KGB double agent can take legal action against the National Crime Agency (NCA) after accusing it of wrongly revealing his new identity, the High Court has ruled.
Boris Karpichkov (his previous name) alleges he received death threats after the UK police agency provided his new name and address to Latvian authorities.
The former KGB major maintains that he is a “living dead man,” claiming that the Russian state learned of his new identity and that threats written in Russian were sent to his home.
In a High Court ruling on Friday, Justice Victoria McCloud ruled against the NCA’s attempt to dismiss the claim or seek summary judgment, and said Mr Karpichkov’s case, subject to any appeal, can continue.
Karpichkov, whose current name cannot be made public and did not appear in the ruling, is seeking damages for violations of the Data Protection Act 2018 and for misuse of his private information.
He worked for the Russian security services for many years and within the Latvian security services before moving to the UK in 1998 as an asylum seeker with his family, where he was eventually granted British citizenship and a new identity.
The ruling showed that a previous hearing in a British court was deemed to be in a “unique position to confirm the past collaboration of senior Latvian officials with the KGB.”
He was also “likely to be considered a threat to Russian intelligence services by virtue of his work as a double agent for the Latvian LSP and against Russian state interests and for his continued outspoken criticism of Russia… (his) life has been at risk since these allegations were first brought forward.”
Karpichkov alleges that in 2006 and 2007, before the revelations of the case, he may also have been the victim of a possible chemical or biological attack on his life.
Latvia attempted to extradite him from the UK, but the High Court overturned a decision accepting him, ruling that his life would be in danger from “criminal underworld/government elements if he were returned or extradited.”
In 2018, in the midst of a second extradition attempt, the ANC provided Latvian authorities with Karpichkov’s new identity, after which it alleges that he began receiving anonymous threats, and in 2019 they received his address, according to the ruling.
The NCA argues that it had to reveal Karpichkov’s new name and address, which occurred before Brexit, due to laws governing the exchange of information between EU states in relation to criminal suspects.
In dismissing the NCA’s application, Master McCloud said it was arguable that the NCA should have considered whether the disclosures were actually required by law after taking into account human rights and the provisions of the EU Charter.