AFP counter-terrorism officer accused of stalking ex-girlfriend

AFP counter-terrorism officer accused of stalking ex-girlfriend

A federal counter-terrorism officer has been accused of stalking and threatening an ex-girlfriend who left him after discovering he was living with a Russian bride in Canberra.

Australian Federal Police protective service officer Roman Eiginson, 52, is at the centre of the bizarre case, and was arrested following what a magistrate described as a ‘‘most extraordinary’’ encounter with police on the weekend.

That encounter allegedly saw Eiginson tell police he was just ‘‘getting some sun’’ when found hiding outside the O’Connor home of his ex-girlfriend’s new partner, whom he had earlier described as a terrorist from Iraq.

Eiginson is charged with stalking, but has not entered a plea.

Police told the court the case began after Eiginson, who works in the AFP’s counter-terrorism intelligence area, started a relationship with the complainant in June 2009.

The relationship took a turn for the worse after Eiginson married a woman from Russia three years later, while still in a relationship with the other woman.


He allegedly told his girlfriend he was only marrying the Russian woman to help her get permanent residency in Australia, and planned to divorce her and get re-married once the migration was settled.

But his girlfriend became angry when she returned home from an overseas trip to find the Russian bride had moved into Eiginson's home in Canberra.

The relationship deteriorated and eventually ended on March 9 this year.

But Eiginson is alleged to have continued contacting the woman, telling her she was being stupid and had to forgive him.

Police say the woman had been walking to work in mid-March, when Eiginson unexpectedly emerged from behind a pillar and confronted her.

Police allege he threatened to expose her private information, saying:

‘‘You see this, now you have to to spend the whole day and night with me, and I will do what I want with you. I will let you go in the morning.’’

She was able to get away, but the contact continued.

Earlier this month, a friend had told her that Eiginson had said he was going to kill her before killing himself.

In the next few days, the woman noticed someone else had changed the passwords to her mobile phone account and email.

She claimed a friend had also told her that Eiginson had said her new boyfriend, whom she had moved in with, was a terrorist from Iraq, who had guns and drugs in his house.

Police allege Eiginson drove his car up and down slowly outside the new boyfriend’s house a number of times. They also believe Eiginson punctured the four tyres of the man’s BMW.

On Saturday, a man was seen walking out of the new boyfriend’s home in O’Connor.

Police said they had been called and found Eiginson hiding behind a tree 30 metres away.

When asked whether he lived in the area, Eiginson is alleged to have replied, ‘‘No I live in Chisholm. I am just getting some sun.’’

Police searched his car and found a multi-tool capable of puncturing car tyres.

The officers told Eiginson to leave, but said they later noticed him sitting in his parked car on a nearby street.

They allege Eiginson was waiting for police to leave the area, but then drove off when he realised they had seen him.

As he drove away, he waved to the alleged victim and her new boyfriend.

He was arrested later that day and brought before the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday.

Magistrate Karen Fryar denied bail, describing his behaviour outside the woman’s home on Saturday as ‘‘most extraordinary’’.

She said police needed the opportunity to properly investigate the case and said Eiginson’s good character and clean criminal history was not enough to overcome the prosecution’s concerns.

‘‘All too often we see tragedies happen where the person who perpetrates the tragedy has been previously unknown to police,’’ she said.

Eiginson was remanded in custody and marked as a prisoner at risk.

He will reappear in court in two weeks time.

Earlier, the AFP said its professional standards division had launched an investigation. Eiginson has been suspended from the force.

Christopher Knaus

Christopher Knaus is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

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