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Gordievsky teams up with Scaramella

by de Gondi Fri Jan 26th, 2007 at 08:20:38 AM EST

General Oleg Gordievsky has granted an interview to the reporter Oleg Fochkin for the Russian daily Moscovski Komsomolts in which he falls in line with Paolo Guzzanti's smear campaign. In the interview Ghordievsky contradicts his two previous interviews with Italian reporters, most notably the Repubblica interview translated here at Eurotrib. During the interview Gordievsky makes several factual errors.

For as much it may be worth it to debunk this new media assault, it remains clear that what counts in disinformatya is to repeat the message through strategic sources until the lie has a life of its own.

Extracts of the interview appear today, January 26th,  in la Repubblica by Moscow correspondent, Leonardo Coen. I would very much appreciate it if our Russian community could find the full text and possibly check this translation, add relevant passages if worthwhile, and inform us about the ownership and editorial line of Moscovski Komsomolts. Oleg Fochkin's credentials are also welcome.

Concerning Mario Scaramella, Gordievsky replies:

Non è colpevole di niente. Lui è stato manipolato da un certo Evgeni Limarev. Sasha (Litvinenko, ndr) ha capito che Scaramella gli dicesse delle balle. In generale, tuttavia, Scaramella è bravo. Lui ha sempre lottato contro il predominio dello spionaggio comunista in Italia. È un orrore quello che è successo lì: hanno trovato 250 spie! E il primo ministro Prodi potrebbe anche essere tra di loro He's guilty of nothing. He was manipulated by a certain Yevgeny Limarev. Sasha (Litvinenko) understood that Scaramella was inventing stories. Generally, Scaramella is a good person. He has always fought against the communist domination in Italy. It's horrible what's happened. He found over 250 spies! And the Prime Minister Prodi could be one of them.

Scaramella is presently detained in isolation under court order as he is considered capable of reiterating criminal activity and altering evidence. He is charged with international arms traffic and revealing official judiciary secrets. He is under investigation for having given false information to the Bologna procura. Another investigation concerns irregularities in awarding contracts and subcontracting waste disposal in the Neapolitan area. An internal investigation has been opened by the national self-governing body of the judiciary (Consiglio superiore della magistratura) to find out how Scaramella was appointed as an honorary judge. Of course, since he has yet to go on trial for whatever charges may be pressed he is "guilty of nothing." However, Gordievsky does not mean this: he has already passed a blanket sentence without knowing anything about the case.

If Scaramella and Gordievsky have a list of 250 spies they need only publish them instead of permanently announcing them. Just for the hell of it, here's one of them: agent Jas Gawronski, European MP for Berlusconi's Forza Italia, recently distinguished for his opposition to the European report on extraordinary renditions. He was known as "Licheno" in the good old days, Mitrokhin dixit, one of the few KGB collaborators actually unmasked.

Limarev è un agente del Kgb mandato in missione in Europa per lavorare in merito al senatore italiano Paolo Guzzanti e Mario Scaramella. Lavorava su di loro. Aveva promesso che avrebbe scritto mensilmente una relazione sulla penetrazione del Kgb nella vita politica italiana. Gli italiani l´hanno assunto, gli hanno assegnato una retribuzione. Che fessi che sono, non ha mai fornito relazioni. Limarev is a KGB agent sent on mission in Europe to work on the Italian senator Paolo Guzzanti and Mario Scaramella. He was working on them. He promised he would write a monthly report on the penetration of the KGB in the Italian political scene. The Italians hired him, they assigned him a fee. What fools they are. He never furnished reports.

It is very interesting to see Gordievsky's accusations against Yevgeny Limarev. We can expect a prompt and documented rebuttal.

The "communist domination" meme has been around since the 1920's in Italy, fully sponsored by the OSS as of 1943 and then the CIA. There's a direct blood-soaked line starting from Angleton's patronage of Italian war criminals such as Valerio Borghese and assassins such as the "exterminator" Fra' Diavolo responsible for the May Day massacre in 1947 at Portella della Ginestra, through the fascist terrorist bombings throughout the Seventies and Eighties. That  Guzzanti  and his disreputable Commission wished to rewrite history is no secret.

Limarev has always admitted being paid by ECCP and was further offered by Scaramella to be paid through Finbroker. The ECCP is Scaramella's shady company run apparently in tandem with the Russian Andrei Ganchev. The ECCP is linked to the Miami based Incident Management Group whose partners are Chris Hagon, ex-Scotland Yard, Harley V. Stock, professor at the Quantico FBI Academy and Lou F. Palumbo,  ex-Cia agent (now retired). The Finbroker was allegedly a criminal front with possible links to organized crime, deviant services, and the extreme right. The men originally behind the Finbroker are Alvaro Selva and Aldo Anghessa, the latter definitively condemned for international uranium traffic, reportedly commuting between Africa and Russia. The lawyer, Alvaro Selva, turns up in a documents sequestered by authorities written in September 2006 apparently to an undisclosed US destination. The document (in poor English) details false accusations against Prodi and his staff, and contains among other false accusations against the Milan procura in defense of the Sismi, in particular ex-director Nicolò Pollari, over the Abu Omar case.

The Finbroker holding further turned up as the only proven conduit of kickbacks from the sale of Telekom Serbia under Milosovic. It is fitting that the person who received the kickbacks was fascist democrat (AN) deputy, Italo Bocchino, member of the Telekom Serbia Commission.

Receiving a fee from ECCP and being promised a fee through Finbroker is not the same thing as working for a parliamentary commission.

Scaramella, in un´intervista, sostiene che Litvinenko gli avesse detto di aver partecipato ad un traffico di materiali radioattivi nel 2000.

Nel 2000? Lui è venuto a Londra, Berezovsky gli ha dato un lavoro. Io in realtà ho fornito un´opinione molto dura su Scaramella ad un giornale italiano (si riferisce a Repubblica, ndr). Lui sta in carcere per niente perché gli italiani non sanno quale reato contestargli. Sarà solo per le voci circa le sue ricerche di materiali compromettenti relativi a Prodi?

Scaramella in an interview asserted that Litvinenko told him that he participated in a traffic of radioactive material in 2000.

In 2000? He came to London and Berzovsky gave him a job. In reality I gave out a very harsh opinion on Scaramella to an Italian newspaper (la Repubblica, translated here). He's in jail for nothing because the Italians don't know what crime to accuse him of. Maybe it's only for the rumours about his research for compromising material on Prodi?

When Scaramella was arrested on specific charges as is done in any lawful state,the yellow rag press insinuated the arrest was over Prodi's suit for slander. The Rome Procura issued a lapidary statement declaring that the charges had nothing to do with Prodi. Gordievsky has apparently joined the crowd in spreading innuendo.

Answering your questions. First, the translation (into English, I don't read Italian) of Gordievsky's words seems to be OK. Second, MK is a pretty yellowish newspaper, which used to be very liberal and popular in late Soviet times. It belongs to its long-time (from 1983) chief editor, Pavel Gusev (here is the latest table of ownership of Russian mass-media, Russian only). Famous journalist Kholodov, killed in 1994 by exploded briefcase that was supposed to contain documents on corruption from the military, was from MK. The paper is sometimes described as a tabloid with a political bent.

Gusev has not really been Kremlin's friend, but this seems to have changed in the last couple of years. At least, some journalists from the "Kremlin pool" complain that MK gets preferences. Given that it's one of the largest circulation dailies (around 2,1 million; only Komsomolskaya Pravda, another tabloid with political bent, has more), I'm not surprised. Gusev also became head of the communication, information policy and press freedom Committee at the Civic Chamber.

Some other interesting pieces from the interview:

     -- Откуда, на ваш взгляд, в Лондоне так много следов полония-210? Их количество просто поражает.
     -- В Англии настолько тонкая и точная аппаратура, что в его обнаружении ничего особенного нет. Такого рода материал, когда его носят туда-сюда, перекладывают, передают из рук в руки, естественно, обязательно оставляет следы. Просто, видимо, его русские "носители" и предположить не могли, что в Великобритании есть такая аппаратура.

Where from are there so many polonium-210 traces in London? Their amount is staggering.
In England they have such fine and precise equipment that it's not strange that it [polonium] was discovered. Such material, when it is brought here and there, replaced, transferred from hands to hands, naturally leaves traces. Probably, its Russian "handlers" could not imagine that there is such an equipment in the Great Britain.
    -- Как отреагировал Скотленд-Ярд и английская разведка на ваше сообщение о приметах предполагаемог&# 1086; убийцы? Они не сочли это разглашением данных следствия? Или это было согласовано?
     -- Примет убийцы мне никто не сообщал -- о них я узнал из немецкой прессы. Эти подробности я и пересказывал английским журналистам. Как вы себе представляете: Скотленд-Ярд будет мне, частному лицу и пенсионеру, сообщать о приметах убийцы? Это чистая фантазия.
    -- То есть вы все взяли из газет?
     -- Из немецкой и некоторых других стран этого региона. Я читаю по-датски, по-норвежски, по-голландски. Практически вся пресса этого региона, включая люксембургскую, писала на тему Литвиненко очень много, и показывали многочисленные сюжеты по телевидению. Оттуда, кстати, очень многое попало в британскую печать.

How did Scotland-Yard and English intelligence react to your statement on the assumed assassin's description? Did they consider it divulging the investigation materials? Or was it coordinated?
No one reported to me assassin's description - I learned about them from German press. These details I was re-telling to English journalists. What do you think - would the Scotland-Yard tell me, private person and a retiree, about the assassin's signs? It's a pure fantasy.
So, you learned everything from the newspapers?
From German newspapers and those from some other countries of this region. I read Dutch, Danish, and Norwegian. Almost all the press of this region, including the Luxemburg one, was writing about Litvinenko a lot, and a lot was shown on TV. That's where from a lot appeared in the British press.
    -- В последнем интервью Би-би-си вы заявили, что несогласны с версией о двойном отравлении, но она не совпадает с мнением Марио Скарамеллы. На чем основываются ваши выводы?
     -- Если бы было первое отравление, то он умер бы на две недели раньше -- это элементарно. Это случилось бы до 1 ноября. То есть первое отравление -- чистая выдумка, еще одна ложь. Просто была репетиция убийства, а тех, кто ее проводил, решили сделать якобы тоже жертвами отравления. На самом деле они получили очень слабую дозу и умрут только через пять лет. А нелегал, который положил ампулу, умрет через три года.

In the last BBC interview you said that you don't agree with the double poisoning version, but it [version] does not coincide with Mario Scaramella opinion. What do you base your conclusions on?
If there were double poisoning, he'd have died 2 weeks earlier - it's elementary. This would have happened before November 1. Therefore, first poisoning is a pure fantasy, another lie. It was murder rehearsal, and it was decided to make those who conducted it "poisoning victims" as well. In reality, they received a very small dose and will die only in 5 years. The illegal who deposited the ampoule will die in 3 years.
    -- Я не видел официальных сообщений о том, что Литвиненко поднимался в номер к Луговому 1 ноября. Где он об этом сообщил? И откуда следы полония в гостинице, в которой Луговой и Ковтун жили 16 октября?
     -- Об этом говорили в программе "Панорама", которая показала о Саше фильм. В этом фильме опросили всех: и Марину, и помощника Березовского Гольдфарба. И самого Березовского опрашивали -- он сидел у постели Саши часами. Вот откуда стало известно, что Луговой и Литвиненко поднимались в номер.

I didn't see official reports about Litvinenko going up to Lugovoi on Nov 1. Where did he say about it? And hod did polonium traces appeared in the hotel where Lugovoi and Kovtun lived on Oct 16?

Program "Panorama" which showed a film about Sasha [Litvinenko] reported this. In this film, they asked everyone: Marina [Litvinenko's wife], and Berezovsky's aide Goldfarb. And Berezovsky himself was asked - he spent hours at Sasha's bed. This is how it became known that Lugovoi and Litvinenko went up to the room.
   -- Так все-таки: был ли четвертый человек (Владислав или Владимир) на встрече? Луговой это категорически отрицает. Да и камеры гостиницы, насколько мне известно, этого четвертого не зафиксировали... При каких обстоятельства&# 1093; киллер, по вашей версии, встретился с Литвиненко?
     -- Англичане знают, что зафиксировали камеры. А зачем так говорит Луговой -- я не знаю. Наверное, таким образом он показывает, что это он убил Литвиненко, что он единственный кандидат на роль убийцы. Он хочет присвоить славу убийцы, чтобы получать более крупную пенсию. А сам умрет через пять лет от белокровия. Это глупая позиция. Кто мог подложить полоний? Только специалист. Вы знаете, даже когда проводится простая операция спецслужб со сдачей наркотиков, всегда присутствует специалист отдела, который занимается ядами. Так кто же доверит человеку без специальной подготовки препарат стоимостью в 10 миллионов? Должен быть специально подготовленный человек, у которого знания, ответственност&# 1100;, тактика, опыт. А готовиться и тренироваться этот человек, насколько мне известно, стал с начала прошлого года. Где-то с февраля--апреля. И в Лондон ездил, везде ходил, все изучал.
    -- Откуда такая информация?
     -- Я не могу сказать, откуда я все знаю. Но это точно.

Still, was there the fourth man (Vladislav or Vladimir) at the meeting? Lugovoi flatly denies that. And hotel cameras, AFAIK, did not register this fourth one... How did the killer meet Litvinenko, in your opinion?

English know what the cameras have registered. Why Lugovoi says so, I don't know. May be, in this way he shows that it's him who killed Litvinenko, that he's the only candidate for this role. He wants to appropriate the assasin's fame, to receive a higher pension. But he will die in five years of leukemia. This is stupid. Who could put polonium? Only a specialist. You know, when special services conduct even a simple operation with handing over drugs, a specialist from the department of poisons is always present. Who would entrust chemical worth $10 mil to a non-specialist? There should be a specially prepared man, with knowledge, responsibility, tactic, experience. AFAIK, this man started to prepare in the beginning of the last year. Some time from February  to April. He traveled to London, walked everywhere, studied.
How do you know this?
I cannot say where from I do know. But this is truth.

There is one more sentence immediately after your last quote (on Scaramella):

Не надо всему верить, что он говорит.
Do not believe everything he [Scaramella] says.

So, in fact, this interview is only tangentially about Scaramella, Prodi, and Litvinenko. Looking at the larger picture, I'm left with a very strange impression. Assassin trained for months, but no one cared to check if there are precise spectrometers and radiation counters capable of picking up alpha-particles in the UK: simply un-f..ing-believable. Major piece of his information comes from unnamed newspapers in too many languages, so that at least any single journalist won't be able to check the source. There are strong hints that he has other sources of information, but it's not Scotland Yard. He still says Scaramella isn't really reliable, but he's a veritable KGB fighter and should be commended for that. "Panorama", which interviewed all the Berezovsky men, should be believed at its word.

Wide speculation starts. Gordievsky is the most important KGB defector still alive abroad. He lives under constant monitoring by UK counter-intelligence, and his livelihood depends on them. His interviews are, in effect, a well-designed leakage, not from Scotland Yard but from MI5. It is in domestic secret service interests to make the murderer(s) as sophisticated as possible, because otherwise there are grave questions about its competence.

Therefore, if Scotland Yard is in reality uncertain, a pressure should be applied on it to make it lean on its doubts in a specific way. As Valery Velichko, head of the "Pride and Honor", remarked a couple of months ago (I'm citing from memory): "The Brits are coming to Russia to find a Russian trail; if they don't find it, there will be no official allegations". So, we are seeing a strong push to make them discover that trail.

Today, BBC (in Russian) reported that Sunday Times learned Marina [L's wife] was told by investigators that the perpetrators are likely to avoid responsibility, and that the investigation is likely to be closed despite the fact that sufficient evidence against Lugovoi and Kovtun was collected, because it is highly unlikely that the suspects would be extradited from Russia. For some reason, I can't find a similar report on BBC English site.

Of course, it would be very easy to mask the failure to find a strong enough Russian trail by referring to impossibility of extraditing Russian citizens, but at the same time to strongly hint who was the perpetrator. A due slander at its best, I'd say. The same logic would apply if the Russian trail turned out to be of a nature different from that required - for example, if it turned out that the trio (or the four) were involved in nuclear smuggling, but Litvinenko got too greedy and was murdered by his companions.

So, my tentative conclusion: Gordievsky interview is simply a part of the intelligence game, and too many mass-media sources seem to be following this script. Along the way, Russian opposite numbers are made look extremely stupid. Which means that we'll learn the truth not earlier than in 75 years, unless the materials get exposed earlier after, say, socialist or Islamist revolution hits UK and documents of its secret services become as available as those of Marcus Wolf's organisation.

by Sargon on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 08:27:03 AM EST
"Dignity and Honor", of course.
by Sargon on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 08:27:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks immensely for your very helpful reply and your considerations.

Gordievsky has certainly granted interviews that do not appear to have much to do with Mi5. He has vaunted as early as mid-December to know who the assassin is within days after the event (reported December 19th). It was in an interview with Radio Liberty. He accused a certain Volodya, introduced by Logovoy at the hotel. More recent reports indicate the assassin as having oriental characteristics who may have sat behind Kovtun on his flight from Germany to England. This does fit in with Gordievsky's scenario. But appears to contradict what he says in the interview you've translated. Four days after the reporting of the event (I believe in the Cecheny press around November 11th) is likely before Danish, Norwegian and German articles.

Gordievsky does have it out with Limarev whom he continues to accuse of being an FSB-SVR-KGB et al agent. But to go as far as accusing Limarev of being an accomplice in the assassination is in my opinion deliberately misleading.

In Italy there have been plenty of mystery murders, suicides and accidents that have yet to be resolved. The murder trial of Sicilian reporter Mauro Di Mauro is finally being celebrated after 30 years. Italy may still hold the world record for assassination of reporters pro capita.

So cases like the Litvinenko murder are not unknown here. One lead that has been suggested here is through Alizman Tokhtakhounov, known as Alik Taiwanchek, the Chinaman, a Russian mafia boss who has found safe haven in Italy. Litvinenko sought to give information to the Venetian procura which is currently investigating him.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 03:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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