Soviet Journalist Victor Louis Dead at 64
LONDON (AP) _ Victor Louis, a Soviet journalist responsible for disclosing several important stories on Soviet developments to the West, has died in London, news reports said today.
Louis, 64, died Saturday of a heart attack following surgery in a hospital, The Times said.
Louis had close contacts with Soviet leaders and was believed to have been used by the Kremlin to provide approved stories to the Western press. However, he always denied working for the Soviet government.
In 1964, he was the first to report the ouster of Premier Nikita Khrushchev, in a report in a London newspaper. He also sold a West German newspaper videotapes of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, made while Sakharov was in forced exile in the closed city of Gorky.
Louis was born Feb. 5, 1928, according to The Times and The Daily Telegraph. His parents reportedly died in Soviet labor camps after World War II, and Louis himself spent nine years in camps on charges of espionage.
But he prospered remarkably efollowing his release in 1956, acquiring a large Moscow apartment, a suburban dacha with tennis court and swimming pool and three foreign cars.
In the late 1960s and the 1970s, Louis was the only Soviet citizen accredited in Moscow as correspondent for a Western, non-Communist newspaper, the Evening News of London. As of this year, he was accredited as correspondent for the Sunday Express of London.
He is survived by his wife, English woman Jennifer Statham, and their three sons. Funeral services were not announced.