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The BBC Russian Service interview is certainly extremely important evidence, so important that we - or rather I, as the mistake was mine - should certainly have taken more trouble to make it as accessible as possible.  The link on the word `interview' takes one through to a piece by the American media consultant William Dunkerley, at the bottom of which there is a link to a video, which reproduces key parts of the interview, with translations.  The direct link is here.

A full transcript of the interview is on pages 44-6 of the April 2007 study The Litvinenko File by Martin Sixsmith.  However, I do not think that the version given by Dunkerley leaves out anything important.

As to the second link, I erroneously linked through again to the Dunkerley piece.

The story was in fact originally broken on two sites:  the Chechenpress site, which was a regular outlet for Litvinenko, and was associated with his close collaborator Akhmed Zakayev, and the Kavkaz Center site.  The reports on the first site are no longer available.  However, the whole sequence of reports on the Kavkaz Center site, from the time the story was first broken on 11 November, through to its first appearance in the mainstream British media on 19 November, remain accessible.  These appear to recycle information from the Chechenpress reports.

In addition to the initial report, the later reports are critical as evidence.  They can be accessed by putting `Litvinenko' into the search facility on the Kavkaz Center site.  As new material on Litvinenko comes up, the order of pages changes.  However, at the moment, the stories from 11-19 November are here and here.

Ironically, although William Dunkerley did us a great service by making the BBC Russian Service interview available on the net, like Sixsmith he took it at face value:  concluding that at the time he gave it, Litvinenko suspected Scaramella.  This is a mistake which is much easier to make, if one has not looked closely at the Kavkaz Center reports.  In our view, it leads to very major misreadings of what is likely to have been going on in the days immediately following Litvinenko's developing symptoms.

As was noted by `eternalcityblues' in the initial diary on this site, the claim being made on the Kavkaz Center was, essentially, that Scaramella was a double agent on behalf of the FSB, luring an unsuspecting Litvinenko to the Itsu sushi bar with promises of information about Politkovskaya, and there attempting to assassinate him.  As `eternalcityblues' established, even a cursory look at the evidence about Scaramella's activities in Italy made it clear that this was wildly improbable.  With the benefit of the evidence we now have, it seems clear that what was at issue was a frame-up.

A recurrent theme of the Kavkaz Center reports, meanwhile, is that the story of Litvinenko's poisoning is being deliberately kept out of the mainstream media.  And indeed, the evidence does appear to suggest that while Litvinenko and Zakayev wanted the story broken, practically nobody else did.  Against the background of the Italian evidence one can see all kinds of reasons why many people might not have wanted to see the story broken, and even more, any publicity given to the activities in which Litvinenko had been engaged with Scaramella.  What reinforces the suspicion is that the initial reports were picked up in the mainstream Russian media - see, for example, this report in Kommersant from 13 November 2006.

In fact, as the initial ET thread also makes very clear, almost as soon as the story was broken in the mainstream British media on 19 November, Gordievsky and Goldfarb shifted the focus of suspicion from Scaramella to Lugovoi - who had not even been mentioned publicly by Litvinenko or anyone else for almost three weeks after the date of the supposed assassination.  This suggests that there was something in the nature of his dealings with Lugovoi which both Litvinenko and others were reluctant to see made public.

Seen in context, then, the evidence from the BBC Russian Service interview actually fits quite well with the hypothesis you put forward - perhaps jokingly - in the initial thread, when you said you were `tending towards the hypothesis of self-assassination.' If you postulate `self-administration' arising from a smuggling operation designed to substantiate some kind of propaganda scenario, a possible explanation of the extremely bizarre way the story of Litvinenko's poisoning was broken becomes available.  At the very least, it would seem that the possibility that Litvinenko's death was not murder at all merits serious investigation by the inquest.

If indeed, as the conventional wisdom has it, Litvinenko had no contact with polonium until the dastardly Lugovoi slipped it into his tea in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in the late afternoon of 1 November 2006, one would have expected the story of his poisoning to be broken quite differently.  One would not expect to see Litvinenko framing Scaramella, and the British police and the supposed victim's associates giving no sign whatsoever of the least interest in the case for days afterwards.  Least of all would one have expected Goldfarb and Berezovsky to be convinced that the only possible explanation was food poisoning:  which really is patently absurd, as well as a gross libel on the Itsu, whose sushi really is very good.

by djhabakkuk (david daught habakkuk at o two daught co daught uk) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 07:56:17 AM EST
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