STOCKHOLM — Edward Lee Howard, the only CIA officer to defect to the Soviet Union, returned to Moscow after being pressured to leave Sweden, his attorney said Wednesday.
Howard is wanted in the United States on charges of selling to the Soviet KGB secrets that allegedly destroyed the U.S. spy operation in Moscow in the mid-1980s. The information reportedly led to the execution of a Soviet citizen.
Howard, 40, came to Sweden as the Soviet Union was collapsing. He has denied working for the KGB or causing anyone's death.
He could not be extradited from Sweden to the United States because Swedish law regards espionage as a political crime. He had been detained by Swedish police last week after his temporary residence permit expired.
Howard flew to Moscow on Tuesday afternoon on a regular SAS flight, his attorney, Jan-Henrik Norden, said.
"He's safe and sound in Moscow," Norden said after speaking by telephone with Howard. "He has not been expelled. He left voluntarily."
Howard's wife, Mary, and 9-year-old son, Lee, remained behind in Stockholm.