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MSNBC News: Two more test positive in ex-spy's poisoning

LONDON - An Italian security expert who met with former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko the day he fell fatally ill has tested positive for the same radioactive substance found in the ex-spy's body, authorities said Friday. Litvinenko's wife tested positive as well, a friend said.

The Italian security agent, Mario Scaramella, met with Litvinenko at a sushi bar in London on Nov. 1 -- the day the former intelligence agent first reported the symptoms that ultimately led to his death.

The Italian tested positive for polonium-210, the rare isotope found in Litvinenko's body, according to law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.

Scaramella was recovered last night in London. It appears that the dose he was exposed to is not lethal. Investigators are more convinced that Litvinenko was poisoned in the sushi bar.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 02:55:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since Scaramella is reported to have eaten nothing at the sushi restaurant, either he got contaminated by a handshake, or the Polonium was delivered by inhalation.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 04:15:46 AM EST
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Reuters AlertNet: INTERVIEW-Poisoning more proof Scaramella not killer-lawyer (02 Dec 2006)
Mario Scaramella's poisoning by the same type of radiation that killed a former Russian agent last week is further proof that the Italian KGB expert is not the killer, Scaramella's lawyer told Reuters on Friday.

Scaramella, who met Litvinenko in London the same day he fell ill on Nov. 1, has been dogged by accusations of involvement in Alexander Litvinenko's death. News of his poisoning sparked fears on Friday about contamination in Italy.

The Senate ordered radiation checks on the room where Scaramella met with a small group of reporters on Nov. 21. His lawyer complained of media reports suggesting Scaramella's poisoning was further proof he might be the killer -- ingesting radioactive polonium 210 inadvertently. "There is a series of news reports that make no sense," attorney Sergio Rastrelli said in an interview.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 05:07:31 AM EST
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Fatal dose would have cost £20m.

Curioser and curioser.

by Sassafras on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 05:09:52 AM EST
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by Sassafras on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 05:11:06 AM EST
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More from The Guardian...
'Litvinenko laughed off my warning. He said it was like the plot of a film' (December 2, 2006)
When Mario Scaramella met Alexander Litvinenko at the Itsu sushi bar in London to warn him of an apparent threat to both their lives, the former Russian spy dismissed the document - which purported to detail the plot against the two men, as well as three others - as being "like the plot of a film".

One of the documents mentioned a Russian judo master who is slightly lame in his right leg, but speaks good Portuguese and arranges "special operations". It seemed far-fetched, and Mr Litvinenko certainly did not believe it.

In an interview last week, Mr Scaramella, an Italian academic and espionage expert, told the Guardian: "Alex laughed it off. He didn't have faith in the person who sent the message and said the whole thing was incredible. He said it was not realistic at all."

Litvinenko was victim of 'Russian rogue agents' (December 1, 2006)

British intelligence sources increasingly suspect that Alexander Litvinenko, the former spy killed with a radioactive poison, was the victim of a plot involving "rogue elements" within the Russian state, the Guardian has learned.

While ruling out any official involvement by Vladimir Putin's government, investigators believe that only those with access to state nuclear laboratories could have mounted such a sophisticated plot.

Police were last night closing in on a group of men who entered the UK among a large crowd of Muscovite football fans. The group of five or more arrived shortly before Mr Litvinenko fell ill and attended the CSKA Moscow match against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium on November 1. They flew back shortly afterwards. While describing them only as witnesses, police believe their presence could hold the key to the former spy's death.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 05:47:22 AM EST
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FOX News: Italian Connection Links Mario Scaramella to KGB Spies, Past and Former Prime Ministers (December 01, 2006)

Revelations that Mario Scaramella, a shadowy nuclear security expert and well-known information peddler, tested positive Friday for the same radioactive toxin that killed former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko gives the evolving spy mystery yet another weird twist: The Italian Connection.

Scaramella, described in media reports as an academic who has long maneuvered in and out of the European clandestine information community, is also linked to an investigation of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, long thought to have had ties to the former Soviet espionage apparatus.

Prodi, an arch rival of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, once was the target of an investigation into KGB infiltration of the Italian government, an inquiry sparked by information found on scraps of paper supplied by the KGB's archivist when he defected to the British.

That information revealed how the KGB had successfully recruited 261 leading Italian politicians and journalists.

Curiously, Scaramella reportedly was meeting with Litvinenko at a London sushi restaurant to tell the former KGB agent that his name was on an assassination list that he'd uncovered.

Prodi's political opponents, meanwhile, have launched several investigations into his financial and political dealings.

Let's count the ways in which this is bullshit...

  1. The "investigations into [Prodi's] financial and political dealings" were brought up in the run-up to the latest elections. From wikipedia: Romano Prodi's political beginnigs
    Prodi served as chairman of the powerful state-owned industrial holding company IRI - from 1982 to 1989 and again from 1993 to 1994. He twice came under investigation for alleged corruption while he was head of IRI. He was accused of conflict of interest first in connection with contracts awarded to his own economic research company, and secondly over the sale of the loss making state owned food conglomerate SME to the multinational Unilever - for which he had for a time been a paid consultant; but, for both accusations, he obtained a full acquittal.

  2. Litvinenko reportedly accused Scaramella of poisoning him, and was described as "being nervous" and "not eating anything". Litvinenko was also reportedly puzzled that Scaramella wanted to meet him in person to show him an e-mail which he could have simply forwarded to him.

  3. Our own de Gondi debunked the (unnamed by FOX) Mitrokhin commission thusly:
    As far as the Mitrokhin Commission goes, what can I say. You can download the audiences on the parliament's site and sit back for riotous laughing. Guzzanti is best known for having sired the two comics and political satirists, Sabina and Paolo. He does his best to compete with them but is basically a hallucinated psychotic with a strong tendency to go into fits of obscenity. It's no wonder he's a senator for Berlusconi's personal political entity.

  4. As for the allegations that Prodi was a KGB agent...
    Keep in mind that the Litvinenko- Batten- Scaramella accusation against Prodi was given maximum press between April 3 and 6, 2006, just on the eve of the Italian general elections, and was object of a parliamentary interrogation by Fascist Democrat (AN) deputy, Ignazio La Russa. Litvinenko had made his revelations to Batten in February.

    Evidently it was too early to influence the elections. Better just days before.
    (Same comment by de Gondi) And, in case that wasn't enough,
    Scaramella used Litvinenko as a source that Prodi was a KGB informant. Litvinenko had always denied being Scaramella's source and further accused Scaramella of having tricked him into signing false revelations.

But, it's been on FOX, so it must be true.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 05:34:08 AM EST
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my hunch is that scaramella got a tiny dose because he was the one dosing the russian.

what i can't decide is whether this was a slip, or whether he was dosed with just enough to make it look he was also a victim, but not enough to hurt him.

of course tests can be falsified too, and it seems the media is much less suspicious of him since this new revelation.

they had a few minutes of him on tv the other day, and body-language screamed 'dodgy'.

it smells more of false flag (reid) and/or russia-smear, and/or russian and italian mafia each day.

definitely reeks but hard to say where from...will we ever know?

one of the strongest features of this story is the image of the dying ex-spy, the bone structure, the terrible pain on such a beautiful face.

it's like he's begging for people to keep digging for the truth in this...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 06:17:30 AM EST
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It would be appropriate at this point to revisit the discussion in the "Kcurie and Polonium" diary, in particular this subthread where we speculated on delivering the Polonium by inhalation and gave a possible scenario for poisoning at the ITSU restaurant by Scaramella.
Inhalation would probably be the most effective way of delivering a dose from an alpha-emitter like Po-210. If it were placed on documents handed to the victim in an envelope, and he pulled them out of the envelope over a plate of food, he would inhale some of the isotope and the rest would fall on the food.  If he had any cuts or open sores on his hands, more could enter that way.

The paper of the envelope would protect the bearer, if he were careful, from exposure and would shield the isotope from being detected by radiation sensors.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 06:24:25 AM EST
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yup that was a great thread.

between the cloak'n'dagger experts and the nuclear boffins, that was vintage ET.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 09:51:33 AM EST
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