Tokyo — The defection of a Soviet pilot in a MIG-25 Foxbat jet figher five years ago was engineered by CIA agents in Moscow, a news report says. Japan's Kyodo News Service, quoting intelligence sources, said the CIA masterminded the flight to freedom by Lt. Viktor Belenko, who flew the Foxbat to the northernmost main island, Hokkaido, in September 1976. The event gave US aeronautics experts the chance to examine the top-secret interceptor plane, which flies at three times the speed of sound.
In return for flying a MIG-25 in perfect condition to Japan, the Western agents guaranteed Mr. Belenko "a protected, free life in the United States," Kyodo said. Last September, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a special bill making Belenko an American citizen and cited his cont ribution to the country.