THE full and incredible story of how a Limerick businessman was arrested and jailed on suspicion of being a spy for the KGB in Russia was this week fully revealed for the first time since his extraordinary ordeal.
Denis Sugrue – who founded technology products firm Amideon Systems in Plassey – made front-page news from Moscow to Miami after he was arrested at Los Angeles Airport when US officials alleged he had "purchased sophisticated computer components in the US to send to Russia through Ireland".
After being thrown into jail for more than 100 days, he stood to be charged by the US authorities with "the unlawful export of defence articles".
This, despite the fact he had certified the communications device he had brought into the country with the USA Department of Commerce, who gave the green light for it to be imported and exported.
Now, five years on from the incident in 2005, Mr Sugrue has written of his ordeal, which he says, almost saw his company go bankrupt. He launched the book – named The Russians are Coming – in the White House Bar, O'Connell Street, Limerick, this Thursday
Mr Sugrue's barrister John Kiely said that following an article in Time magazine, newspapers in Ireland and other countries carried coverage on the 'spy story' suggesting it was not just a case of illegal export but a major spy case which the U.S. government was unlikely to give up easily. They decided that the best response was a low profile and to avoid media queries.
Asked how he felt during the ordeal Denis Sugrue said: "I felt neutral I knew the whole thing was just a stupid mistake and I got over it." He praised the Irish Embassy for their support in Los Angeles during his ordeal.
"I have no regrets or bad feelings. This is just to put down on paper what happened, and have a bit of banter about it," he said.
FULL STORY IN OUR WEEKEND EDITION