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Independent: Litvinenko: police probe claims he may have killed himself

Detectives investigating the death of Alexander Litvinenko were last night examining the possibility that the former spy killed himself to discredit Vladimir Putin.

Increasing concerns over the reliability of the Russian dissident's death-bed testimony have prompted police to check every detail of Mr Litvinenko's version of events on 1 November, the day he said he was poisoned.

The Russian dissident's death on British soil has triggered an unprecedented investigation headed by Scotland Yard's anti-terror branch and involving forensic experts and nuclear scientists from the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. They are still trawling through hours of CCTV footage and conducting detailed searches of the places he visited on the day he fell ill.

Meanwhile, nuclear scientists are frantically trying to establish just how radioactive was the dose of polonium-210 that killed Mr Litvinenko. Traces of the material - powerful enough to trigger a nuclear warhead - were found on tables at the Itsu sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, a London hotel, and his home in Muswell Hill.

But yesterday the Metropolitan Police were still treating Mr Litvinenko's death as an "unexplained death", not as a murder inquiry. One source close to the investigation said: "He was a guy with a colourful past. It's not straightforward."

by Fran on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 12:22:46 AM EST
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The Daily Mail: "Exclusive: Sushi bar man is nuclear waste expert"

Mysterious past of last man to meet dead Russian

Prof Scaramella's knowledge of atomic materials is clear, however. The Mail on Sunday has discovered that in June last year Italian police launched an investigation into an alleged plot to smuggle uranium into the country after being tipped off by Prof Scaramella.

He told officers that the uranium was hidden in a suitcase and had originated from an undisclosed country in the former Soviet Union. Within just 24 hours, police in Rimini made four arrests.

At the time all Prof Scaramella would say was: "I was investigating the activities of former KGB activities in San Marino (a tiny independent republic near Rimini)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 02:11:20 AM EST
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As always Scaramella is not to be believed. He is a  con-man and impostor. He has impersonated the role of judge, professor, expert on environment, expert on uranium, and self-professed CIA agent.

On November 22, Carlo Bonini the famous and authoritative Repubblica reporter published a lengthy article on how Scaramella screwed Litvinenko in 2004, based on an interview conducted in February 2005. I controlled the Repubblica archives only to find that the interview had never been published.

The interview was published today in la Repubblica. I will put up excerpts today. In brief, Litvinenko was used by Scaramella to support false charges against Prodi in the Mitrokhin commission. Litvinenko denies ever having made charges that Prodi was a KGB agent. He signed what he thought were translations of his testimony against Putin. Those signed documents were used by the Mitrokhin commission in its obscene attacks on Berlusconi's enemies.

Litvinenko feared that Berlusconi's close relation with Putin which notoriously exceeds state protocol would endanger him and his brother, a cook who lived in Rimini at the time.

We have a clear situation here, apparently paradoxical: The kangaroo Mitrokhin Commission through Scaramella gathers testimony against Putin by one of his major adversaries, Litvinenko. The same commission then falsifies Litvinenko's testimony. Berlusconi has always defended Putin and vaunts a close and special relation with him. Further, Berlusconi used his power as prime minister to set up ambitious and favourable business ventures with the Russian nomenklature. The extent of Berlusconi's personal involvement with Putin has yet to be investigated. Considering Berlusconi's on-going knack for international crime, one has license to speculate.

I would have no problems in speculating that Scaramella turned over Litivinenko's testimony to interested parties.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 02:42:14 AM EST
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Sounds like he and Litvinenko must have a lot in common. Litvinenko claimed a narrower expertise, though: he was a self-proclaimed spy, defector and KGB expert.

On credibility, besides number of claims that FSB was preparing hit on Berezovsky (proved to be false, but highly benefitial to Berezovsky himself: in one case FSB management was toppled, in another Berezovsky was given asylum in the UK) here are a number of selected quotes:

On al-Zawahiri:

A. Litvinenko:  Certainly, here it is. The number two person in the terrorist organization al Qaeda, who they are crediting with the series of explosions in London, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an old agent of the FSB. Being sentenced to death in Egypt for terrorism and hunted by Interpol, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 1998, was in the territory of Dagestan, where for half a year he received special training at one of the educational bases of the FSB. After this training he was transferred to Afghanistan, where he had never been before and where, following the recommendation of his Lubyanka chiefs, he at once ... penetrated the milieu of bin Laden and soon became his assistant in al Qaeda.

On 2005 London bombings:

The correspondent: What can you say concerning the acts of terrorism in London ? From what region and with what forces was this impact directed?

A. Litvinenko: In reply to this question I can declare perfectly definitely, that the center of the global terrorism is not in Iraq , Iran , Afghanistan or the Chechen Republic . The terrorism infection creeps away worldwide from the cabinets of the Lubyanka Square and the Kremlin. And until the Russian special services are forbidden, dispersed and condemned, the terrorism will never stop: bombs will blow up, and blood will be shed. Terrorism has no limitation period and those, who were engaged in it, should be found and punished, until they are alive, instead of to award them with the Nobel Prize of the world and not to set up monuments for them.

On 1999 shooting in Armenian parliament:

Former Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Alexander Litvinenko said in various interviews that the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General-Staff of the Russian armed forces had organized the terrorist attack in the Armenian parliament.

On murder of Kadyrov:

But this is by no means the only theory. Contrary to Kommersant, Aleksandr Litvinenko, the former FSB lieutenant colonel and ally of fellow exile and Putin opponent Boris Berezovsky, argued that Ramzan Kadyrov, being Akhmad Kadyrov's son and head of his security service, must have known the Chechen president's schedule and movements on May 9. After the elder Kadyrov's murder, Ramzan, rather than immediately setting out to apprehend the assassins or even "crying for his father," flew to Moscow to "report to Putin," Litvinenko wrote.

The only rational explanation for all this is that Litvinenko was Berezovsky's faithful sidekick and was playing popular in Anglo-Saxon press angle of Putin=FSB=KGB. For Berezovsky Putin is Frankenstein who  occupies his rightful place of top dog in Russia.

by blackhawk on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 05:49:09 AM EST
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Thanks for your interesting feedback and perspective. I found your previous comment in eternalcityblues diary very interesting. I do not expect Litvinenko to be a clear figure.

It's important to put up as much information as possible on the protaganists in this story so that one can make an informed opinion.

I am aware that my opinion of Guzzanti and Scaramella appears one-sided. I'm comforted by the fact that they have plenty of prominent supporters or shoddy reporters to shovel their shit for them.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 06:27:18 AM EST
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Do you think there is a direct link between Litvinenko's death and Mitrokhin's comission? To me it seems to be tangential. Mitrokhin's comission itself looks like a local witchhunt.

On Scaramella, he is not known in Russia, but I've seen comments on Russian side that he was working in Moscow and had access to the same open KGB archives every foreigner can get access to.

On Litvinenko, one thing to understand is this context is that he was not in a position to confirm or deny anyone's involvement in former KGB's foreign operations. He have not even seen the same archives Scaramella saw, did not work in any kind of spy business, and Goldfarb clearly states that when he tried to run to the US, he had nothing to offer in terms of information in exchange for settlement of his immigration case. UK was willing to take him as is.

by blackhawk on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 08:05:18 AM EST
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At the moment I see no link between the Mitrokhin Commission activity and Litvinenko's death. Just as Scotland Yard we are in the realm of hypotheses.

I simply wish to report the controversial aspects of the Berlusconi commissions which includes of course the roles of ex-KGB/ FSB members.

What I find interesting is that two important interviews carried out last year have now been published- perhaps too controversial at the time, but now pertinent to an understanding of the Berlusconi regime.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 09:40:04 AM EST
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I had a feeling it would all lead to Italy sooner or later. In a thread where the Polonium murder was discussed I remarked that "it feels like the whole world has turned into Italy" or somesuch.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 01:43:36 PM EST
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As for the Mail on Sunday, fat discovery. What did they do? Learn Italian and read the papers? That San Marino crap was another Scaramella trick that came to nothing. There was no suitcase, no radioactive material, just four stooges framed.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 02:45:23 AM EST
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There is a veritable Alice in Wonderland world lurking underneath our society and one can easily fall down a hole into another reality where white is black.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 03:48:19 AM EST
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We've been in it since Bush got elected.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 07:24:19 AM EST
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Or since the Trojan horse...

Interesting comment via a distant contact in Finland with knowledge of military matters over the border - 'his rapid rise up through the military in his early career was quite rare'

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 07:40:13 AM EST
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There is also an interview with Limarev today in la Repubblica. It is a devastating attack on Guzzanti, Scaramella and their hokum Mitrokhin commission.

The interview was conducted on March 3rd, 2005.

Limarev was involved in the Scaramella scams at the behest of Litvinenko as another testimony. His opinion of both Guzzanti and Scaramella is blunt: a fraudulent caper to smear prominent opposition figures. Limarev names names (published) and declares that Scaramella's security company was run in tandem with Americans. The author of the article asserts that Limarev showed him the names of the American security companies but does not publish them.

Limarev accuses Scaramella of having used both himself and Litvinenko for political ends.

Scaramella recently asserted that he had received the notorious emails he took to London from Limarev. Limarev categorically denies any involvement with the emails.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 06:19:09 AM EST
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I would not exclude the possibility of Scaramella being linked to the political and intel fringes of ... dunno what to call it other than a kind of post-Gladio NeoCon-friendly, P2-shadowed "Michael Ledeen & Friends of Friends" zone of Italy's political undergrowth.  Note also Scaramella and Guzzanti's stubborn attempts to link Prodi both to Ali Agca's shooting of pope John Paul II - seem to remember Ledeen was involved in pushing a faked "Bulgarian connection" theory at the time, as close associate/American connection of Francesco Pazienza? Also that the Billygate scandal was a Pazienza/Ledeen caper??

Anyway, Scaramella strikes me less as a  "private enterprising" conman-vulture, even in tandem with Guzzanti, than a very shady guy working for a no less shady group/faction with a distinct agenda, both internal and external to Italian politics.  Note also the ties to Colombia mentioned in the Sun article, and the silent American Litvinenko declares sat in at one of his sessions with Scaramella. Plus SOMEONE with international-level influence must have pushed for invites for him and his ECPP thingy to the OSCE conferences and NYU symposia that list his name and ECPP-thingy amongst their reporters/participants in google-traceable official proceedings pdfs?  

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 12:34:02 PM EST
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Billy Carter actually did go to Libya and booze with George Habash. Ledeen and Pazienza organized the scoop. Their first meeting was in the bathroom of the CSIS in Washington. It's a great story to tell. To think history was changed thanks to a deal in the toilet.

Ledeen, Claire Sterling and Francesco Pazienza were deeply involved in putting together the fake Bulgarian connection in the Ali Agca assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II's life. The Mitrokhin commission tried to resell the story by alleging there was proof in the Stasi archives. Guzzanti and his cohorts accused the Stasi of holding back the documents. They produced a big PR storm which was amplified and broadcasted throughout the world through the good offices of the Corriere della Sera.

La Repubblica blew the scam apart. They got hold of the Stasi documents and began publishing them. The contents only proved that the Bulgarians were bewildered by the American- Italian attempt to frame them. The Repubblica then interviewed the head of Stasi, Misha Wolff, who brushed off the matter sardonically. At that point Repubblica turned over the entire cache of the Stasi-Bulgarian documents with a note saying that usually reporters are forced to turn over documents by warrant and that they find it very satisfying to donate the "missing" documents to the commission to further their search for truth.

There is a disquieting follow up to all this. The other day the actual head of the Bulgarian archives, Bozhidar Doychev, was found dead, shot through the mouth. Suicide or suicided. The Bulgarian archives may be opened by a parliamentary vote in the near future. Purportedly it would contain information from the infamous "Darzhavna sigurnost" on Ali Agca and the Markov murder, much to Guzzanti's joy. If only he could get his chums to forge some fake Bulgarian archives. With Igor Marini, Rocco Martino and Scaramella presently on the dole he shouldn't have problems finding helpers.

There has been a rash of "suicides" (three) in Bulgaria this autumn, all linked to the Minister of Interior or the Secret Services.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 04:13:35 PM EST
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"...the former spy killed himself to discredit Vladimir Putin."

¿ "I´ll show you!  I´ll kill myself"?  sounds too strange, even in that strange world.

Too bad W doesn´t think that way...

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Nov 26th, 2006 at 01:23:15 PM EST
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