Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'd like to go into detail on the so-called "Italian security services" and their alleged documents as evoked by Scott-Clark and Levy:
If Scotland Yard have been restricted in their investigations, the Italian security services have no such inhibition - and felt able to show us the results of their inquiries. They were watching Litvinenko long before he came under scrutiny in London, and gathered a vast dossier of material on him, including phone tap transcripts, affidavits, photographs and emails, court depositions and police interrogations; it charts how, driven by money worries, Litvinenko had been secretly cultivating a new project in Italy.

At the time the two Italian state security services that could have investigated Litvinenko and Scaramella were the military secret services, the SISMI, which in theory is to operate outside Italian territory or against foreign menaces within states borders, and the SISDE, which operates on Italian territory. The SISMI was run by General Pollari at the time, the SISDE by General Mori. When the Scaramella-Litvinenko affair broke, members of parliament asked the government and the then heads of the services if they had gathered information related to the Mitrokhin commission and the two figures. The SISDE reply was a categorical "no" while Pollari's reply was ambiguous.

The Minister of Interior Giuliano Amato, interrogated by the Copaco, the IS oversight committee, declared that neither of the services nor the police had collaborated in any way with the Mitrokhin commission.

At this point it may be a case of "plausible denial" especially in the case of the SISMI. High officials of the SISMI were deeply involved in illegal activity such as the Telecom-SISMI scandal which involved the massive production of disinformation and illegal domestic espionage through off-shot security covers. One of the "gate-keepers" in the scandal was the Polis D'Istinto security company which was linked to another 52 security services. Apparently security services were in hot demand during the Berlusconi years.

As far as government intelligence services are concerned a simple question may be raised, ignoring the stumbling block of it being a crime: Why would such a wealth of documentation be shown to two foreign reporters if ever it existed, all the more so when both services officially deny any involvement? Sure, the English press has a vast audience and prestige. But the Italian press knows its Italy and all that has passed here. An English article, even if it is critical, makes a great bouncing board.

It is no secret that the judiciary branch investigated Scaramella, each procura for its own reasons. Teramo, Naples, Bari, Rome. But investigative judges do not hail from "security services."

Scott-Clark and Levy offer a list "including phone tap transcripts, affidavits, photographs and emails, court depositions and police interrogations..." which raises serious problems. Had Litvinenko personally made court depositions or had been subject to police interrogations, it would be public knowledge by now. More likely he may have been cited in court depositions and police interrogations in the only trials or pending trials that involve Scaramella. As a defendant, Scaramella and his lawyers, are the only ones that had access to that material before trial. Once a trial is underway, the material becomes public. But then Scaramella was the protagonist, not Litvinenko.

Throughout Scaramella's handling of Litvinenko and Limarev, he made shows of authority in front of shills in unidentified offices, alleging that they were IS covers, even CIA covers.  Limarev describes him as presenting himself in SUVs with six Israeli bodyguards. An entire building in San Marino under court seizure was magically open and running when Limarev was escorted there. Scaramella was even hired by the Republic of San Marino to manage state security.

Litvinenko's interrogations (affidavits?) were described as follows in a taped declaration in the London offices of Berezovsky on March 3, 2005.

[...] At the beginning of 2004, I received a call from my friend Viktor Suvorov, Viktor is an ex-official of the GRU (Soviet Military Counter-Intelligence) and now lives in Bristol where he plays at being a famous writer. He asked me if I had anything against talking to a friend of his, an Italian judge, Mario Scaramella, who works for the Mitrokhin Commission. Mario called me and asked me if I could tell him everything I knew about the KGB's operations and contacts in Italy. I told him right off that I didn't know Mitrokhin and knew nothing about his archive, but if he wanted a list of possible Russian contacts on the argument and my consultation to understand the criminal mechanisms of the KGB and the FSB, their links to organized crime, I was available. We agreed that I would come to Italy at the end of February 2004.

Then, suddenly, something happened then that I, unfortunately, didn't understand then. I have a brother named Maxim. He's 21 and has been in Italy for the past four. He lives in Rimini where he's a university student and works as a cook in restaurant that specializes in steak alla brace. Well, a month before I arrived in Italy, Maxim called me up in desperation. The police no longer considered his student visa valid and menaced to expel him back to Russia. I asked Mario for help, and he said not to worry. He told me that Berlusconi had been told about my impegno with the Mitrokhin and that Maxim shouldn't worry. If I collaborate bringing the evidence the commission asks for, Maxin will get political asylum. Maxim confirmed that Mario went to Rimini and talked to the police. But in the end my brother had to do it all by himself to get his visa. The episode was certainly a way to get me to collaborate.


At the beginning of March 2004 I arrived at Fiumicino where I found Scaramella waiting for me with an interpreter and a driver. We got in Mario's car, a brown Land Rover, and drove straight to Naples. The driver told me he was a penitentiary cop and I suppose he was because he travelled armed. The interpreter introduced himself as André. He was a Russian citizen and I was surprised he had no documents to stay in Italy. No visa permit, no political asylum. I said to Mario: "How do you expect to protect this person? The things he'll hear from me about the KGB and the FSB accuse Putin and therefore put his life in danger..." Mario told me to mind my own business. In Naples I stayed in the hotel "Britannia" or "Britanique" on the "hill" (in Naples in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, there exists a hotel called Britanique. The hotel is on the slopes of the Vomero. Ed.) Mario paid my room, the airplane ticket and the expenses of my brother who spent the last two of the five days I was there. The days were all alike. I waited in the hotel until they came to pick me up. They took me to a house not far from the hotel towards the sea. The apartment was on the first floor of a low building which overlooked the courtyard of a big school with a volleyball field. A woman transcribed my declarations on paper and at the end of each work day, I was asked to sign. Now I don't know what I signed because the texts were in Italian and I can't swear that the interpreter didn't make any errors. We worked late into the night. I decided to collaborate after I was reassured. [...]

Now the only people that could have all of this documentation, including documents effectively signed by Litvinenko, are Mario Scaramella and whoever he passed it on to, whether it was the Mitrokhin commission or  private security services, for example.

Whatever is written in these Litvinenko files should be weighed with caution. Even the presence of names such as Mogilevich.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 5th, 2008 at 03:50:47 PM EST
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