Espionage: Rumanian Sting

Plenty of cloak, but no dagger

One morning last May, exiled Rumanian Writer Virgil Tanase, 36, left his Paris apartment for a rendezvous in the Luxembourg Gardens. He never got there. As startled passers-by looked on, Tanase was shoved into a car and spirited away. Since the missing writer had been an outspoken critic of Rumanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu, human rights groups immediately blamed the Rumanian secret police. French President François Mitterrand warned that Tanase's disappearance could "seriously affect" relations between the two countries, and he postponed a visit to Rumania.

In a plot worthy of Spy Novelist John Le Carré,...

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