Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium link

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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:14 am

Litvinenko murder suspect calls being on US blacklist 'absurd'

Moscow (AFP) - Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, one of two men suspected of fatally poisoning Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, Tuesday dismissed his being included on a US sanctions list as "absurd", saying he was "perplexed" by the decision.

The US Treasury on Monday added Lugovoi along with Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin and Dmitri Kovtun -- also a suspect in the Litvinenko murder -- to the Magnitsky Act sanctions list.

"I am perplexed," Lugovoi was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. He added he didn't know why he was on the blacklist only that he heard "persons who violated people's rights in some way" ended up on it.

"I think that (US President Barack) Obama is now rushing before handing over his prerogatives to harm and spite Russia in any way he can, and this has led to absurd things."

US State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday the new additions to the sanctions list have "roles in the repressive machinery of Russia's law enforcement systems, as well as individuals involved in notorious human rights violations."

Litvinenko, an ex-spy turned Kremlin critic, died of radiation poisoning in 2006 aged 43, three weeks after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium at an upmarket London hotel.

An inquiry last year found that Lugovoi and Kovtun, identified as prime suspects by British police, were likely to have carried out Litvinenko's poisoning on the instructions of the Russian security services.

Lugovoi has dismissed the allegations as "nonsense."

Obama's outgoing administration has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating cyber attacks aimed at influencing the results of November's White House race.

Moscow has vehemently rejected the accusations, over which Washington has already expelled 35 Russian diplomats allegedly involved in espionage and due to what Obama said was "harassment" of US diplomats in Russia.

The Magnitsky Act was originally passed to allow US officials to impose sanctions on Russians involved in the 2009 prison death of Russian tax fraud whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky.

But more individuals have been blacklisted over the years.

Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin in 2015, had petitioned US congressmen to expand the list with individuals seen as violators of human rights, including Bastrykin, who reacted at the time by saying that it "would be a great honour".

The target list now includes 44 names of those whose assets under US jurisdiction are frozen, and who are barred from doing business with Americans or receiving US visas
https://www.yahoo.com/news/litvinenko-m ... 59672.html
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby liminalOyster » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:47 am

From September 2016, after HRC fainted leaving 9/11 memorial:

The man who discovered CTE thinks Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned
"It's not rocket surgery." - Elvis
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:45 am

well this story isn't going away

Ex-MI6 Officer Christopher Steele Named As British Spy Behind Donald Trump Dossier
52-year-old has fled Surrey home.
11/01/2017 23:18 | Updated 3 hours ago

Graeme Demianyk
Night News Editor and US-Based Reporter, The Huffington Post UK
Steven Hopkins
Assistant News Editor

The former British spy at the heart of the sensational story about Russia holding compromising details of Donald Trump’s private life is now in hiding after his name was made public.

Christopher Steele, 52, is said to be the ex-MI6 officer who produced - at least in part - the 32-page dossier that makes lurid claims about the President-elect’s private life and business interests. The property tycoon damned the allegations as “fake news” during a dramatic news conference in New York.

British newspapers, broadcasters and websites were prevented from making public his details after a government-issued “D-notice” was published. The ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the state and the media was lifted at 10pm GMT.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Steele, 52, fled from his gated home in Surrey on Wednesday morning fearing his name would soon be made public.

He is said to have left his cat with neighbours telling them he would be away “for a few days”, and left in such a hurry that he left most of the lights on.

A source close to Steele told the newspaper that he was “horrified” when his nationality was published and is now “terrified for his and his family’s safety”.

It quoted a source close to Steele saying that he now fears “a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow”.

The Telegraph said Steele’s wife and children were not at home on Wednesday night and quoted a neighbour as saying: “I’m not sure where he’s gone or how to contact him. I don’t really know much about him except to say hello.

“We’re all pretty secretive round here to be honest. All I know is he runs some sort of consultancy business.”

Steele served MI6 for nearly two decades in Moscow and security sources say he once worked with murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Litvinenko’s wife Marina told The Times she did not recognise the name Steele but added that MI6 agents often have a number of different identities.

Details were first published earlier in the day by the Wall Street Journal, which said Steele was the co-founder of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd - a private security and investigations firm founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals. The company is said to be employed by corporations to carry out research on business partners, and according to its website, Orbis has a “global network” of experts and “prominent business figures”.

The Journal suggested he has a good reputation in the intelligence community and spent years stationed in Russia.
BBC News (UK) ✔@BBCNews
Thursday's Mirror: "Trump Dirty Dossier Brit Named" (via @AllieHBNews) #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday
5:06 PM - 11 Jan 2017
33 33 Retweets 45 45 likes

BBC News (UK) ✔@BBCNews
Thursday's Mail: "Trump Rocked By British Spy" (via @AllieHBNews) #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday
5:05 PM - 11 Jan 2017

During an ill-tempered press conference earlier, Trump lashed out at CNN - which broke the original story claiming the documents were being circulating in Washington - as a “fake news” organisation. He also labelled BuzzFeed News, which published the full unverified dossier, as a “failing pile of garbage”.

The President-elect dismissed suggestions he had engaged in a graphic sex act detailed in the dossier by quipping he was a “germaphobe”. He also suggested US intelligence services “may” have been involved in leaking the documents, and likening the situation to Nazi Germany.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/b ... dc83e80cec
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby chump » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:37 am

From Fruh's post in the Data Dump:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-man-behi ... 21154.html

The British ex-spy behind the Trump dossier was an FBI asset
[Yahoo News]
Michael Isikoff
Chief Investigative Correspondent
Yahoo NewsJanuary 11, 2017

The man behind the sensational story concerning information the Russian government had supposedly collected about Donald Trump is a former British intelligence operative and was a longtime intelligence source for the U.S. government who had assisted the FBI during an investigation into corruption by FIFA, the world soccer association, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The operative — identified today by the Wall Street Journal as Christopher Steele, a former Russian operations officer for Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency — had worked as a consultant for the FBI’s Eurasian organized crime section, helping to develop information about ties between suspected Russian gangsters and FIFA, said one of the sources, who is directly familiar with Steele’s work.

Steele had been hired originally to investigate Trump by his political opponents, and he decided to share his information with the FBI last year. The preexisting relationship between Steele and U.S. officials is one reason the FBI took the operative’s allegations seriously when he first turned over a written dossier, filled with uncorroborated “raw intelligence” about Trump, to one of the bureau’s agents in Rome last summer, the sources said.

The credibility of some of those allegations is now in question after Trump, at a news conference, denounced the claims as completely false and attacked the news media for circulating them — and the intelligence community for including a two-page summary of the explosive charges in a classified briefing that was given to President Obama, to congressional leaders, and to Trump himself.

“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” Trump said at his Trump Tower press conference Wednesday. “It was gotten by opponents of ours. It was a group of opponents that got together. Sick people, and they got together and put that crap together.”

Steele, who now works for a London-based intelligence firm called Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by a Washington political research firm working for Democrats looking for damaging material on Trump. After contacting old sources in Moscow, he passed along reports of sensational — and unverified — accounts of compromising material that the Russian intelligence service had supposedly obtained about Trump during his 2013 stay in Moscow, when he was overseeing the Miss Universe contest. “Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB [the Russian intelligence service] has compromised TRUMP thorough his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him,” reads one of the operative’s reports, which was published Tuesday night by BuzzFeed.

The operative’s reports also included multiple other claims that are now in question: One of the operative’s reports alleges that Michael Cohen, a top lawyer in the Trump organization, had met with Russian officials in Prague involved in hacking the election. On Wednesday, Cohen denied he had ever been to Prague and produced his passport to prove it. Another of Steele’s reports, first reported by Yahoo News last September, involved alleged meetings last July between then-Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page and two high-level Russian operatives, including Igor Sechin — a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who became the chief executive of Rosneft, the Russian energy giant. After initially declining to comment, Page wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey after the story was published denying that he had ever met with Sechin; the Trump campaign, however, cut its ties to him.

Still, U.S. officials said the allegations were not easily dismissed, in part because Steele was a known quantity who had produced reliable information about Russia in the past. “He’s a meticulous professional, and there are no questions about his integrity,” said one U.S. official who has worked with Steele. “The information he provided me [about Russia] was valuable and useful.”

A senior law enforcement official declined to talk about the nature of Steele’s relationship with the FBI. But the official confirmed that he was known to the FBI and that the bureau had already obtained copies of his reports months before Sen. John McCain handed FBI Director James Comey a dossier of Steele’s material in December. Asked why a two-page summary of the uncorroborated reports was included as part of last week’s intelligence briefing on Russian hacking, the official said that “it was an intelligence community decision” to do so after officials learned that his reports had been widely circulating among members of Congress and journalists. “It seemed very clear that these were going to see the light of day in the next couple of weeks,” the official said. The conclusion was that “it might be a good idea to tell [Trump] about them before they were publicly released.”

The official declined to share U.S. officials’ current thinking about the reliability of the material, saying it is still being investigated. “It’s part of the larger look at the Russian influence campaign,” the official said.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said the decision to include the material in the briefing was justifiable in light of the expectation that it was likely to leak. “Are you going to tell the guy?” Hayden said, referring to Trump. “You almost owe it to him.” Besides the news media, other intelligence services were likely to get their hands on the material. “It’s awkward, but duty kind of dictates that you tell him.” Still, Hayden added, the rules about what intelligence to share — or not share — appear to be shifting in the Trump era. “We’re off the map here,” he said.

All that begs the question of what the public should make of Steele’s reports, in light of the “hall of mirrors” atmosphere that surrounds much intelligence reporting about the Kremlin. The format of the reports tracks the writings of professional intelligence reports, with each claim tied to a particular source, even if the sources (per standard procedure) are never identified. Steve Hall, a former top Russia operations officer for the CIA until 2015, said he found aspects of Steele’s reports to be credible, especially as they related to the Kremlin’s plans for hacking the U.S. election.

“I find some of it indeed has the ring of truth,” said Hall. But, he added, “other parts of it are problematic.”
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:18 pm

SPY TIES REVEALED Who was Alexander Litvinenko and did he know Christopher Steele? Former Russian spy poisoned with polonium
Christopher Steele fled his home after he was named in US media as having written about the alleged lurid activities of Donald Trump
BY MARYSE GODDEN 12th January 2017, 11:57 am
MURDERED Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has been put back into the spotlight after claims a former Brit intelligence officer behind the Trump dossier once “worked” with him before he was killed.

Ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s identity was revealed after US media named him as the author of the dossier filled with lurid allegations about Donald Trump.

Alexander Litvinenko died in 2006 GETTY IMAGES
Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was murdered after seeking political asylum in the UK
President-elect Trump has vehemently denied the accusations made in the dossier which include allegations of “degrading sex acts in Moscow hotel room with hookers”.

Steele is said to have fled his Surrey home soon after his identity was made public but information about his working life has emerged.

Who is Alexander Litvinenko?

Alexander Litvinenko
Litvinenko was killed by radioactive polonium-210, which he is believed to have drunk in a cup of tea
Alexander Litvinenko was a former Russian spy who was killed in London in 2006 by radioactive polonium-210.

He died an agonising death three weeks after the poison was slipped into his cup of tea.

The 44-year-old had been an officer with the Federal Security Service (FSB) – the successor to the KGB – but he fled to Britain after criticising Russian president Vladimir Putin.

After his death, it was revealed he had been paid by MI6.

Who killed Alexander Litvinenko?

Andrei Lugovoi (left) and Dmitri Kovtun (right) are wanted by British police over the 2006 assassination of Litvinenko EYEVINE
Andrei Lugovoi (left) and Dmitri Kovtun (right) are wanted by British police over the 2006 assassination of Litvinenko
Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, who both face US sanctions, are the two men wanted in the UK for Litvinenko’s murder.

The pair are suspected of assassinating Putin critic and ex-spy Litvinenko in London using radioactive polonium 11 years ago.

An inquest into Litvinenko’s death found that he had been murdered in a FSB operation – that could have been on the personal orders of Putin himself.

Litvinenko’s widow Marina Litvinenko said: “The words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr Putin have been proved by an English court.”

Russia has since refused to extradite Kovtun and Lugovoi so they can face trial in Britain.

Did Alexander Litvinenko know Christopher Steele?

Security sources say ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele who has been named by US media as the man behind the dossier filled with lurid allegations about Donald Trump, “worked” with Litvinenko before he was killed.

Steele is believed to have been involved in Russian issues at MI6 for almost two decades.

A source told The Times: “I think he (Mr Steele) was one of the people who was working with Litvinenko.”

The wife of the former Russian spy, Mrs Litvinenko said that while she did not recognise Steele’s name, it was probable that he had used an alias.

She said: “Sasha (Alexander) had some communication with people with different names, which could be why I can’t help.”

Steele was reportedly “surprised” by what happened to Litvinenko who was murdered.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2595360/a ... -polonium/

British spy behind Donald Trump 'dirty dossier' is warned he's in danger - by widow of murdered Litvinenko
Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was an arch-critic of Putin, died in November 2006 after drinking green tea laced with the deadly isotope polonium-210 at a meeting with two Russian men

18:53, 13 JAN 2017UPDATED19:19, 13 JAN 2017

The widow of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko - who was murdered in London in 2006 - has warned British intelligence veteran Christopher Steele may be in danger.

Marina LItvinenko , 54, told the BBC: “I believe it is very dangerous, particularly after death of my husband, because when you just approach very specific information, particularly when this information very close to very powerful people, you might be in this line and you just easily might be killed.”

Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was an arch-critic of Putin , died in November 2006 after drinking green tea laced with the deadly isotope polonium-210 at a meeting with two Russian men.

He had previously served in the Kremlin’s intelligence unit the FSB.

Spy behind 'dirty dossier' on Donald Trump is left out in the cold by former bosses at MI6
Marina Litvinenko, widow of Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko, addresses journalists outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London on January 21, 2016.
Marina Litvinenko has warned Christopher Steele could be in danger (Photo: Getty Images)
In November 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of the Russian tycoon and oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Litvinenko was arrested the following March and released in November 1999 but re-arrested before the charges were again dismissed in 2000.

He fled with his family to London and was granted asylum in the United Kingdom, where he worked as a journalist, writer and consultant for the British intelligence services.

Alexander Litvinenko
Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital (Photo: Getty Images)
Litvinenko wrote two books, Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within and Lubyanka Criminal Group, wherein he accused the Russian secret services of staging the Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power.

He also accused Putin of ordering the murder in October 2006 of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
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They could still get him out of office.
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:27 am

When Putin’s Killers Descended on London
In this excerpt from ‘A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War With the West,’ the first vestiges of a global Russian murder ring emerge.
02.20.17 12:15 AM ET
The Men from Moscow
Passport control, Gatwick Airport, Sussex
16 October 2006
Two of the Russians arriving that morning stood out. What precisely made them suspicious was hard to identify. But in the mind of Spencer Scott—the detective constable on duty at London’s Gatwick Airport—there was a curious sense of doubt. It was 16 October 2006. Passengers were disembarking from a Transaero flight from Moscow. They were collecting luggage. A stream of new arrivals queued up at passport control, and then proceeded for customs and excise checks.
The first Russian was of medium height, thirty-something, with blond Slavic hair. He was wearing a casual jacket and carrying an expensive-looking leather laptop case. He appeared prosperous. The second, with dark hair, receding slightly, and a yellowish complexion, was clearly his companion. They weren’t behaving oddly as such. And yet there was something—a furtiveness—that pricked Detective Constable Scott’s attention.
“I thought they were of interest and basically as they came through immigration controls I stopped them and questioned them,” he recalled. Scott hadn’t been told to look out for them; he was acting on a hunch. He asked them their names. One man spoke English and identified himself as Andrei Lugovoi. His friend, he said, was Dmitry Kovtun. Kovtun said nothing. It appeared he spoke only Russian. Scott took a grainy low-res photo of them. Lugovoi was on the right. In it they look like dark ghostly smudges. It was 11:34 a.m.
Lugovoi and Kovtun’s story seemed convincing enough: They had flown into London for a business meeting. Lugovoi said he owned a company called Global Project. Moreover, his friend was a member of the finance department at a respectable Moscow bank. Their travel agent had booked them in for two nights at the Best Western Hotel in Shaftesbury Avenue. The hotel wasn’t cheap: £300 a night. Lugovoi handed over his reservation. It was genuine.

Still, there was something unsettling about their answers, Scott felt: “They were very evasive as to why they were coming to the UK.” Normally, those subjected to a random stop would open up—about families, holiday plans, the lousy English weather. The two Russians, by contrast, were elusive. “As I asked them questions, they weren’t coming out with the answers that I wanted to hear or expected to hear. They were giving me very, very short answers,” Scott said. Their replies offered “no information.”
Scott looked on the internet but couldn’t find Global Project. The Russians told him that their business meeting was with “Continental Petroleum Limited,” a company based at 58 Grosvenor Street in London. Scott rang the firm’s landline. A man answered, confirmed they were registered with the UK’s financial authority. OK, then. The constable checked the police database. Nothing. Britain’s intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, hadn’t flagged Lugovoi and Kovtun either. Apparently, they weren’t of interest.
A copper’s nose was one thing; hard facts another. With no evidence to go on, Scott took soundings from his sergeant, who advised him to let both men “go forward.” Britain’s judicial and police system rests on a presumption of innocence—unlike in Russia, Lugovoi and Kovtun’s homeland, where judges take informal guidance from above. After twenty minutes the Russians were told they were free to leave. They collected their luggage and headed for central London. Scott put their photo in a file. It was stamped: “For intelligence purposes only.”
It was little more than a month later that Scotland Yard—faced with a situation of unprecedented international horror—realized Scott’s instinct had been preternaturally correct. The two weren’t businessmen. They were killers. Their cover story was just that. It had been painstakingly constructed over a period of months, possibly years. And it worked.
That morning, Lugovoi and Kovtun were bringing something into Britain that customs had failed to detect. Not drugs, or large sums of cash. Something so rare and strange and otherworldly, it had never been seen before in this form in Europe or America.
It was, as Kovtun put it, talking in confidence to a friend in Hamburg, “a very expensive poison.” A toxin that had started its surreptitious journey to London from a secret nuclear complex in south-west Siberia. An invisible hi-tech murder weapon.

Lugovoi and Kovtun were to use it to kill a man named Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko was a Russian émigré who had fled to Britain six years previously. He’d become a persistent pain for the Russian government. He was a remorseless critic of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s secret policeman turned president. By 2006, Litvinenko was increasingly anomalous: back in Russia many sources of opposition had been squashed.
There was a particular reason why Putin might want Litvinenko dead. Before escaping in 2000, Litvinenko had worked for the FSB, Russia’s intelligence service, and the main successor agency to the KGB. Putin himself had been, briefly, his boss. But Litvinenko now had another employer: Britain’s secret intelligence service, MI6. Her Majesty’s Government had given Litvinenko a fake British passport, an encrypted phone and a salary of £2,000 a month, paid anonymously into his HSBC account and appearing on his bank statement incongruously next to his groceries from Waitrose. He had an MI6 case officer, code named “Martin.”
Litvinenko wasn’t exactly James Bond. But he was passing to British intelligence sensitive information about the links between Russian mafia gangs active in Europe and powerful people at the very top of Russian power—including Putin. According to Litvinenko, Russian ministers and their mobster friends were, in effect, part of the same sprawling crime syndicate. A mafia state. It was his contention that a criminal code had replaced the defunct ideology of communism.
Litvinenko knew about this mafia’s activities in Spain; he was, in the words of one friend, a walking encyclopedia on organized crime. So much so that MI6 loaned him out to colleagues from Spanish intelligence in Madrid.
All of this made Litvinenko a traitor, and the KGB’s punishment for spies who betrayed their country was understood. From the very beginning of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, Moscow had used poisons, bullets, bombs hidden in cakes, and other lethal methods to snuff out its “enemies,” at home and abroad, from Leon Trotsky to Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident and writer poisoned on Waterloo Bridge in 1978 with an ingenious ricin-tipped umbrella. As Stalin famously observed, “No man, no problem.”
There was a spectrum. It went from killings that were demonstrative, to those where the KGB’s fingerprints were nowhere to be found, however hard you looked. Boris Yeltsin had stayed those methods in the post-communist ’90s; the KGB’s poison factory seemingly mothballed; Russia’s democrats briefly in the ascendant. Now, under Putin, such methods were back. The FSB was Russia’s pre-eminent institution. It was all-powerful, beyond the law, and—like its Leninist predecessors—a purveyor of state terror.
In the glory days of the Soviet Union, the KGB dispatched professionals and undercover “illegals” to carry out extra-judicial murders—known in the spy trade as “wet jobs.” Lugovoi and Kovtun’s mission to London was supposed to be exactly such an operation: ruthless, clinical, undetectable—an iron fist concealed in a velvet glove. It was to be done in the best traditions of the Cheka, the counter-revolutionary police force founded by Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lenin’s friend. Dzerzhinsky’s statuette with its cold, pinched features sat in Putin’s office.
But, despite a resurgence under Putin, Russia’s spy agencies had suffered the same degradation that had blighted all Russian institutions—the presidency, Russia’s parliament or Duma, medicine, science, and technology. Critics said the country, despite its great power pretensions, was slowly dying. Its modern assassins were a shambolic lot.
The idea was that nobody would notice the visiting Russians. Once they had poisoned their victim they would escape back to Moscow, leaving few ripples on the busy surface of London life. Their target, of course, would die horribly. But the Kremlin’s hand would be hidden. The British would mark his death down as a baffling case of gastroenteritis and those who carried out the murder would return to a life of shadowy anonymity. And, one imagines, reward. The payment for murder, Kovtun hinted, was a Moscow flat.
It didn’t quite work out like that. Russia’s poisoning project, when finally accomplished, would prompt a British public inquiry costing millions of pounds. One that examined the masses of evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police, from hotels, restaurants, car seats—even from a bronze phallus at a nightclub visited by the assassins in Soho. Scotland Yard was able to reconstruct minute by minute the events leading up to the murder. Its investigation—made public more than eight years later—was one of the most extensive in criminal history.
Yet despite this exposure there were soon to be other victims—opponents felled in murky circumstances, including in the U.S. Or, like the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, killed outside the very gates of the Kremlin. Moscow would send tanks across borders, start a war in Europe, and annex a large chunk of neighboring territory. Its proxies—or possibly Russian servicemen—would blow a civilian plane out of the sky.
As in Soviet times, Russia seemingly viewed the United States as a hostile and irreconcilable foe. U.S. navy ships and planes found themselves buzzed by Russian combat jets. The atmospherics were redolent of the Cold War.
This time, though, Moscow’s actions—including military intervention in Syria—were dangerously unpredictable. The common theme here was contempt: a poisonous disregard for human life. For Vladimir Putin’s critics have an uncanny habit of turning up dead.
Excerpted from A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding, Copyright © 2017 by Luke Harding. Excerpted by permission of Vintage. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Luke Harding the senior international correspondent for The Guardian. He has reported from Delhi, Berlin, and Moscow and has covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. He is the author of six books including The Snowden Files and Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia. His new book, A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War With the West, tells the story of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who died after drinking tea spiked with radioactive polonium.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... ondon.html

Channel 4 to investigate the Alexander Litvinenko murder
February 16, 2017 No Comments Broadcasting James Ryder
With unprecedented access, the documentary will recreate each step of the exhaustive police investigation which spanned the UK and Russia and has, until now, remained a secret.

In October 2006, Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London, with the rare poison polonium 210. It was a case that gripped the nation. As the whistle-blower on systemic corruption in the Kremlin, Litvinenko became embroiled in a world of international espionage and political conspiracies.

Hunting the KGB Killers is a pne-off 90 minute documentary to be shown on the network later this year and will reveal, for the first time, the remarkable details of the extraordinary investigation into Litvinenko’s murder through the experiences of the key Scotland Yard detectives who have never before spoken to the media.

At a time of growing tensions between Moscow and the West this is a timely insight into the dark side of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. For the first time those involved in the international manhunt for Litvinenko’s murders will reveal what went on behind the headlines and how they uncovered an assassination plot that went right to the heart of the Russian Government.

Litvinenko’s death had massive political implications for the balance of international power, showing on a global stage the ruthlessness of the post-Soviet regime at a time when President Putin had been heralded as a reforming democrat by the West.

The film will include contributions from the detectives responsible for both the British and Moscow part of the investigation and the day to day running of the case, the doctors treating Litvinenko who desperately battled a mysterious and completely novel toxin, Dame Margaret Beckett, the then Foreign Secretary, Alexander’s wife Marina and his son Anatoly. It is the first time Anatoly has spoken on camera about the murder of his father.

The investigation, which culminated in a public inquiry in 2015, was one of the most comprehensive investigations by Scotland Yard in in UK criminal history. The inquiry brought to light its extraordinary details; from poisoned teapots to incompetent assassins to links to Vladimir Putin himself.
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:11 am

Christian Candy adviser linked to Litvinenko and his alleged killer
Court hears evidence from Steven Smith, director at a detective agency with links to poisoned dissident and his accused murderer Andrey Lugovoy
Christian Candy pictured outside the high court earlier on in the trial. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty
Thursday 9 March 2017 14.45 EST Last modified on Thursday 9 March 2017 17.22 EST
Property tycoon Christian Candy’s key adviser was a director of a detective agency which made payments to the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko and to the former KGB officer accused of murdering him.

Details of the transfers to alleged killer Andrey Lugovoy and to Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after swallowing a radioactive substance called Polonium-210, were given during a high court trial.

Candy and his brother are defending charges that they used blackmail and intimidation to extort repayment of a loan. The case against the billionaire property developers is being brought by their former business associate, Mark Holyoake.

Steven Smith, a founding director of Christian Candy’s property group, was cross-examined on Thursday about his involvement with the London-based investigations agency RISC Management. He was a director from the firm’s incorporation until 2013.

In a wide-ranging testimony, Smith told of his close relationship with RISC chief executive Keith Hunter. The detective had travelled to France and arranged protection for Smith and his family after a violent robbery.

The court has heard how Smith, who now walks with a stick, jumped out of a first-floor window and broke his spine to escape attackers. Smith explained how he had stood by Hunter after the private detective was arrested on suspicion of police bribery in 2012.

He recalled RISC’s dealings with Litvinenko. Smith had arrived at RISC’s offices for a directors’ meeting two days after the Russian had ingested poison while drinking tea at a London hotel. The boardroom had been secured by police because traces of the substance had been left during Litvinenko’s visit.


“The whole of the upper floor was cordoned off with radioactive yellow and black paper everywhere,” said Smith. “So obviously I asked the question: ‘Why is our boardroom radioactive?’ And they told me that Mr Litvinenko ... had visited the office on the day he was poisoned.”

A British judge found last year that Lugovoy and another agent had poisoned Litvinenko. During the inquiry, it was revealed that RISC had made payments to Lugovoy and Litvinenko. These included a £1,000 starter fee and a £7,500 transfer to a Cyprus bank account belonging to Lugovoy.

Smith said he was unaware of the payments at the time but agreed he knew the men had undertaken work for RISC. Its clients included Boris Berezovsky and other oligarchs who had fallen out with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

“I did ask and they said he was there for a meeting and supplying information,” Smith told the court. “If you remember, Mr Litvinenko was very much an anti-Putin individual and was quite high profile in anti-Putin circles.”

Holyoake, who borrowed £12m from Christian Candy for a property deal, alleges that in 2012 he was threatened during a phone call with Christian’s brother, Nick Candy. Nick is alleged to have said his brother would sell the loan to Russian debt collectors who “would not think twice” about “seriously fucking hurting you”. The Candys deny the charges, as does Smith, who is also a defendant in the case.

Holyoake’s QC Roger Stewart sought to paint a picture of RISC as a firm with a questionable reputation.

RISC and another firm set up by one of its employees were hired for numerous jobs by CPC Group. The firm made checks on all the potential purchasers at One Hyde Park, the Candys’ flagship super-luxury development of about 80 apartments in London’s Knightsbridge district.

Former RISC managing director Cliff Knuckey was asked to serve court papers on one of the purchasers, with whom CPC was in dispute. During this episode, Knuckey was found to have impersonated a representative of the Saudi royal family, an estate agent and a member of Vodafone customer services, Stewart told the court.

Christian Candy has also told the court he asked Knuckey for advice on who could help recover Holyoake’s debt.

Addressing Smith, the QC claimed: “The fact that you were prepared to use Mr Knuckey despite knowledge of his methods shows that you were not concerned whether he operated legally or illegally”. Smith replied: “Absolutely not.”

Knuckey and his former colleague at RISC, Keith Hunter, were arrested in May 2012 on suspicion of police bribery. RISC offices were searched by police. All charges were later dropped.

Smith said he had decided to remain on the board of RISC following Hunter’s arrest. This was in part because Hunter, an old friend who shared his passion for horse racing, had flown to be by his side following the robbery at his home near Nice.

“I took the decision that I would stand by Keith,” Smith said. His voice cracking with emotion, he continued: “One very good reason was that when I needed some help a year previous, the day I was attacked, by the time I came out of my operation which lasted some 13 hours, Mr Hunter had got on a plane and flown to Nice and had already started working with the French police to secure the crime zone, to help them secure forensic evidence.

“He then set up security for the house, for my wife, and indeed security for me in the hospital. At the time we had no comprehension for why this had happened and indeed the severity of the attack. It looked like attempted murder.”

In his evidence, Christian Candy told the court that Smith flung himself out of the first-floor window of his holiday home and into a ravine to escape robbers. The attackers, Candy said, had since been jailed.

By July 2012, after Hunter and Knuckeys’ arrests, Holyoake was being chased for repayment. Stewart claimed that Smith was aware CPC was planning to use “illegitimate debt collectors” to retrieve the money.

“You were aware that what was in fact being contemplated was individuals introduced by Mr Knuckey and you were also aware that Mr Knuckey had behaved improperly ... In those circumstances the involvement of Mr Knuckey strongly suggests that no legitimate purpose was being contemplated at this time.”

Candy says that his firm eventually decided not to appoint collectors for Holyoake’s debt. The case continues.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... ged-killer
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:29 am


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A man whose company is linked to Litvinenko and his alleged killer sits on the boards of Blippar and Audioboom
Business Insider UK
Shona Ghosh, Business Insider UK
Mar. 13, 2017, 8:08 AM 694
Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed by radiation poisoning in 2006.AP/Alistair Fuller

Financial advisor Steven Smith is a board member of Audioboom and Blippar.
Smith was also director of investigations agency Risc, which he said counted Russian oligarchs among its clients.
He joined the startups' boards after investments made by property tycoon Nick Candy.
A financial advisor who has connections to the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko and his alleged killer sits on the boards of two UK startups, Blippar and Audioboom, according to High Court evidence and filings with Companies House.

Steven Smith admitted his links to Russia during a £132 million ongoing High Court battle he is fighting alongside property tycoons Nick and Christian Candy against developer Mark Holyoake. Smith is a co-defendant in the trial, but was linked to the Litvinenko death only through his employer.

Smith's board positions are one strand of a complex web involving billionaire Nick Candy and his investments in UK tech startups. Business Insider discovered the connections by speaking to former employees of those startups and documents filed with Companies House.
Nick Candy with wife Holly Valance
Billionaire property tycoon Nick Candy and his wife, popstar Holly Valance.Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Smith told the High Court last week that he was director of investigations agency Risc between 2006 and 2013. During that time, he said, the agency made payments both to former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko and the man who is suspected of his murder, former KGB agent Andrey Lugovoy. Both were paid to carry out investigation work for Risc as "a double act," Smith said, though he didn't specify exactly what that meant. Risc operative Daniel Quirke gave evidence in 2015 to the inquiry into Alexander Litvinenko's death, and stated the pair were paid for a document detailing the set-up of Russian security agencies, including the FSB.

Litvinenko, a critic of Putin, died in 2006 after being given radioactive Polonium-210 in a cup of tea. Russia has rejected extradition requests for Lugovoy.

Risc was an intelligence firm which conducted private security work and counter-intelligence work for clients such as the Candy brothers, and Russian oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Smith said.

It shut down in 2014. What little is known about its operations has come out through court cases and inquiries, such as the inquiry into Litvinenko's murder. During that inquiry, Risc cofounder Keith Hunter said the company conducted everything from kidnap ransom assessments to "whistle blowing management" for clients.

According to Smith's evidence, Risc conducted "know your client" checks for the Candy brothers on prospective property buyers.

Smith told the court he had not had dealings with Litvinenko or Lugovoy personally, but was aware of "some form of association" with Risc while he had been a director. He talked about coming into Risc's offices two days after Litvinenko had been killed to find radioactive warnings all over the boardroom. Litvinenko, he said, had visited Risc on the day he was poisoned.

According to Companies House filings and financial statements, Smith has been on Blippar's board since February 2016, and a director of Audioboom since August 2016:
Blippar Steven Smith
Steven Smith has been a Blippar director since February 2016.Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

But why is this chartered accountant sitting on the boards of any British startups at all?

Smith is a director both of Christian Candy's CPC Group and Nick Candy's Candy Ventures SARL. He is also director of a new charity registered in January by Nick Candy and his wife, Holly Valance, the Nick and Holly Foundation.

He joined the boards of Audioboom and Blippar after investments from Candy Ventures SARL. Audioboom CEO Rob Proctor confirmed Smith's continued involvement with the company. "Steven does indeed sit on our board and is massively helpful in his advice," he told Business Insider in an email. "Candy Ventures has been a huge supporter and has cornerstoned every funding round that we have completed ... Simply put without their support Audioboom would not be the global platform that we are today."

A spokesman for Blippar only stated that all directors were disclosed in its financial filings.

Nick Candy has backed a collection of UK startups
Smith's position with Audioboom and Blippar highlights Nick Candy's growing involvement with British tech startups through Candy Ventures SARL and another investment vehicle, Candy Capital.

These are all the tech and media companies in which Nick Candy is a shareholder:

Blippar — augmented reality
Audioboom — audio and podcasting
Sonr (acquired by Audioboom this year) — social listening
Crowdmix (renamed Music Media) — music and social media
Hanzo — web analytics
Satellite Solutions Worldwide — broadband
Be Heard —marketing and advertising
A spokeswoman for Candy confirmed his continued involvement with all the companies.

Candy is proactively involved with the companies he has invested in, occasionally with some controversy.

Take the example of London startup Crowdmix.
crowdmix nick candy montage
Crowdmix: former CEO Ian Roberts, Nick Candy, and cofounder Gareth Ingham.Heather Shunker/Reuters/BI

Nick Candy invested around £8.45 million in the social music company in 2015, but the startup never launched a product. By the following June, CEO Ian Roberts had resigned and the startup collapsed spectacularly into administration.

Candy acquired the bulk of Crowdmix's assets in the summer of 2016, and now appears to be trying to resurrect the company with the help of former CCO Rob Wells.

As part of the Holyoake case, Ian Roberts appeared before the High Court to allege that Candy had effectively "blackmailed" him out of his position as CEO.

Roberts also gave evidence that Candy had lent his own yacht to another investment, Blippar, during the Cannes Lions advertising festival in 2016. Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra gave Business Insider a tour of the yacht at the time.

Nick Candy also appeared to be on the yacht.

Nick Candy Blippar
Jim Edwards/Business Insider

Candy is also proactively involved with Audioboom.

He joined the audio startup's board in 2015 but resigned his position in August 2016, according to a company announcement. Steven Smith then took his place.

At the same time, Audioboom disclosed that it was considering the acquisition of Sonr News, "primarily for the purpose of obtaining their engineering team and Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Artificial Intelligence algorithms."

Analysis of financial filings by Business Insider shows that Nick Candy and his associates had already invested in Sonr.

Sonr Audioboom
Audioboom disclosed existing investor Nick Candy and CEO Rob Proctor's interest in acquisition target Sonr.Audioboom

When Candy stepped down from Audioboom's board in 2016, the company disclosed that he and CEO Rob Proctor held a combined 27.6% of Sonr.

Sonr's CEO, Amanda Brown, had also previously been Audioboom's chief operating officer.

The man who incorporated Sonr, accountant Rodger Sargent, had been involved with another of Nick Candy's ventures, Satellite Solutions Worldwide. He is, according to an interview with The Independent, a specialist in making money from shell companies. Both Satellite Solutions Worldwide and Audioboom started life as shells. Shell companies are entities without active business operations or assets. In the case of Audioboom, its reverse takeover of a shell allowed the company to go public.

Another associate of Nick Candy's, Lucian Simovici, had been appointed to Sonr's board earlier in 2016, according to a Companies House filing. Simovici has sat on the boards of several other Candy-linked companies.

Audioboom CEO Rob Proctor was also listed in 2015 as a shareholder in Satellite Solutions Worldwide. It isn't clear whether he remains a shareholder.

In January this year, Audioboom completed the acquisition of Sonr for approximately £1.42 million, according to a company statement. At the same time, it issued a £1 million convertible loan note to Candy Ventures SARL, "to support the working capital requirements of the combined Audioboom group and Sonr businesses."

All of the information has been openly disclosed in each company's financial filings. CEO Rob Proctor described the deal as "fully transparent".

Nick Candy seems mostly interested in social media
Candy's investments in Sonr, Blippar, Audioboom, and Crowdmix all reflect a particular interest in social media.

Satellite Worldwide Solutions is the only high-tech investment on the list, as a provider of high-speed satellite broadband. In 2015, Candy also made an investment in web archiving and analytics company Hanzo Archives through Candy Ventures SARL, resulting in Steven Smith and Lucian Simovici joining the company's board.

Elsewhere, Candy has maintained an interest in advertising. He once worked at advertising agencies JWT and Dentsu, according to a Times profile. He remains a shareholder of the Be Heard advertising group after his shell group, Mithril Capital Management, acquired the Agenda 21 ad agency in 2015.

During the ongoing High Court trial, Candy also referenced investments in biotech and sports. Business Insider was unable to discover such investments.

From his court evidence last week, it appears he would like to move away from property, where he originally made his millions with brother Christian, and further into tech investment.

He said: "[If] you look today, what is Christian doing? He's still building. What am I doing? I am investing in tech, biotech, sports, media, telecommunications."
http://www.businessinsider.com/audioboo ... ?r=UK&IR=T
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:40 am

Putin critic says he's one of the lucky ones: "I'm still here"

Mar 12

Questions continue to surround the role Russia may have played in President Trump’s election last fall, and about the president’s professed admiration for Vladimir Putin’s skills as a strong leader.

What the president doesn’t talk about is the unfortunate fate that stalks some of Putin’s most prominent critics. They have been victims of unsolved shootings, suspicious suicides and poisonings. Tonight, the story of one of them.

Vladimir Kara-Murza was an opposition activist, on the front lines, protesting Putin’s policies, organizing demonstrations and town hall meetings. He knew he was on a dangerous mission. When we met him last year, he told us that one day in May 2015, he learned just how dangerous.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: I was in a work meeting with my colleagues in Moscow, when I suddenly started to feel really sick. And I went, within about 20 minutes, from feeling completely normal to feeling like a very sick man. Then I don’t remember anything for the next month.

“I have absolutely no doubt that this was a deliberate poisoning, that it was intended to kill...” Vladimir Kara-Murza
Lesley Stahl: You were out for a month?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: I was in a coma for a week, and I don’t remember anything for a month and had basically a cascade of all my major life organs failing, one after another; just switching off you know the lungs, the heart, the kidneys.

Poisoned again? What 60 Minutes learned about Russia's "love of poison" 60 MINUTES OVERTIME
Poisoned again? What 60 Minutes learned about Russia's "love of poison"
He was shuttled from hospital to hospital in Moscow for two days as doctors frantically tried to figure out what was wrong with him.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: I was at one point connected, I think to eight different artificial life support machines and doctors told my wife that there’s only gonna be about a five percent chance that I’ll survive.

But he beat the odds. When we spoke with him last year, he’d been recovering for a year, but he was still walking with a limp from nerve damage.

Lesley Stahl: So what happened?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Well, it was some kind of a very strong toxin. We don’t know what it was because, you know, with these things, as people who know more about this than I do explained to me, you basically have to know exactly what you’re testing for in order to find it.

Lesley Stahl: So they never found the exact compound?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: They never did.

It wasn’t until the fourth day, and after he had been on a dialysis machine, that blood was drawn and sent to a toxicology lab in France. It found heavy metals in his blood, but no specific toxin. Still Kara-Murza maintains that he was poisoned.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: I have absolutely no doubt that this was a deliberate poisoning, that it was intended to kill because, as I mentioned already, the doctors told my wife that it’s about a five percent chance of survival. And when it’s that kind of percentage, it’s not to scare. It’s to kill.

Lesley Stahl: Can you be sure that what happened to you was directed by Mr. Putin?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Well of that we have no idea. I don’t know the precise circumstances, I don’t know the who or the how, but I do know the why.

In recent years quite a few of Putin’s enemies have perished by swallowing things they shouldn’t have. In 2006, Russian-spy-turned-Kremlin-critic Alexander Litvinenko drank tea laced with polonium-210. Two years earlier the Ukrainian politician Viktor Yushchenko had somehow ingested dioxin. He survived but was disfigured.

But what would the motive be in the case of the critic Vladimir Kara-Murza? Cambridge educated, he was for years a Washington-based reporter for a Russian TV station. So he was well-connected and had perfect English, which he used to incessantly criticize the regime on the international stage.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition activist, speaks at a demonstration.
Vladimir Kara-Murza: A government that is based on genuine support does not need to jail its opponents.

As if his outspokenness wasn’t enough to anger the Kremlin, he made matters worse for himself when he joined forces with this man.

Bill Browder: It’s death if you cross the Putin regime.

Bill Browder was for years the largest foreign investor in Russia and Putin’s champion. But he turned into a dogged adversary when his Russian tax attorney Sergei

Magnitsky blew the whistle on alleged large-scale theft by government officials.

Moscow, Russia CBS NEWS
Bill Browder: We discovered massive corruption of the Putin regime. Sergei exposed it, testified against officials involved. He was subsequently arrested, put in pre-trial detention, tortured for 358 days and killed at the age of 37.

Browder was so outraged, he joined with Vladimir Kara-Murza to lobby the U.S. Congress for a law targeting those responsible for that death and other human rights violations. They succeeded: the Magnitsky Act passed in 2012. It is the first law that sanctions individual Russians, 44 so far.

Bill Browder: The Magnitsky Act is designed to sanction, to freeze the assets and to ban the visas for people who commit these types of crimes in Russia.

Lesley Stahl: So they can’t get their money which may be stashed in the United States.

Bill Browder: And so Vladimir Putin is extremely angry that the Magnitsky was going to be passed. He was even angrier when it got passed. And he was angrier when people started getting added, names started getting added to the Magnitsky list.

One reason Vladimir Kara-Murza is convinced he was targeted is because six people connected to the Magnitsky case, as he was, have ended up dead. One of them was Boris Nemtsov, a leader of Russia’s opposition and Kara-Murza’s partner in lobbying for the Magnitsky Act.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: On the 27th of February 2015, he was killed by five bullets in the back as he was walking home, as he always did, out in the open, without bodyguards—

This was an assassination. In some of the deaths, proving there was foul play has been a challenge. Take the case of this Russian banker who came forward with incriminating documents related to the Magnitsky case.

Bill Browder: Alexander Perepilichny was a whistleblower. At the age of 44, he went jogging outside his home in Surrey, outside of London and dropped dead. The police deemed it an unsuspicious, natural death.

Lesley Stahl: Well, they did look for poison. They just couldn’t find any.

Bill Browder: They did a very first round toxicology screen. They didn’t find anything on the first run through.

Detecting poison can be extremely difficult. And there’s a reason: this Cold War CIA memo reveals that the Soviets ran a “laboratory for poisons […] in a large and super secret installation […] known as the chamber” to test undetectable compounds.

In the case of the banker in London, the coroner wasn’t willing to give up. He ordered more tests -- and three years later it was revealed in court that an exotic toxin was found with the help of an authority on flowers!

Bill Browder: A small sample of his stomach contents was sent to a botanical garden outside of London. And one of the scientists found a compound called Gelsemium Elegans which is a Chinese herb. They call it the heartbreak grass. And it causes a person to die unexpectedly without explanation.

Still, there’s no direct evidence of a Kremlin connection. But the list of those who’ve come to die unexpectedly after running afoul of Mr. Putin is long. Political opponents and human rights lawyers have been shot; rogue spies hunted down; overly inquisitive reporters have perished in mysterious plane crashes or by car bombs, by poison or gun-fire. Journalist reporter Anna Politkovskaya was poisoned and shot.

Then there are enemies who kill themselves, one by hanging, one by stabbing himself to death with two knives, and one by tying himself to a chair and jumping into a swimming pool. Some of Putin’s opponents are in prison, others forced out of the country like Mikhail Khodorkovsky, probably Putin’s most famous living critic.

Lesley Stahl: Are you afraid for your own life?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky CBS NEWS
Mikhail Khodorkovsky: For a period of over 10 years, Vladimir Putin had ample opportunity to put an end to my life very easily, just by snapping his fingers. Today, it’s a little more difficult.

Khodorkovsky was once the richest man in Russia -- until he took to opposing Putin. He was put on trial, his oil company confiscated, and then thrown in prison for 10 years. Home is now London where he funds a Russian pro-democracy movement -- and this is where the plot thickens because one of his senior organizers on the ground in Russia is none other than Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Lesley Stahl: There are people who say that what’s happened to Kara-Murza is a message to you, a message to you to back off.’

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: You know, for 10 years, I was receiving lots of messages from our authorities of various sorts. And, some of these messages were rather unpleasant, concerning my physical well-being. But the authorities saw I ignored these messages. I would like to believe that they have not forgotten that.

In 2015, once Vladimir Kara-Murza was stabilized, he was flown to Washington DC to continue treatment near his wife, Evgenia, and their three kids who live in the U.S. for their safety. But as soon as Kara-Murza got better, he was itching to go back to Russia.

Yevgenia: I think what my husband believes in will always outweigh the fear, the paranoia.

Lesley Stahl: Even for you?

Yevgenia: You know, of course I’m terrified, but at the same time, you know, I married the guy 13 years ago and I knew what I was getting into.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Well, you know, I think there’s nothing better this regime, the Putin regime, would like us to do than to give up and run away. And we’re not going to give him that pleasure. It’s our country.

Lesley Stahl: Even after being poisoned?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: It’s our country. We have to fight for it.
Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza recovers in the hospital with his wife, Evgenia, at his bedside.
He told us this in June. He went back immediate after, even though threats against him had intensified, like this video posted on Instagram putting him in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle. He was continuing his opposition work when just last month --

Yevgenia: All of a sudden he begins experiencing this very elevated heart rate, his blood pressure drops very low. He begins sweating and he has trouble breathing.

His wife thinks her husband was attacked the same way as before.

Yevgenia: The first time he had been dragged from one hospital to another to yet another where they were trying to establish the cause. This time he was taken directly to the hospital, to the same medical team that had treated him in 2015. And the moment they saw him, they knew what they were dealing with.

“Many, unfortunately, have died. I’m the fortunate one. I’m still here. I’m still talking to you. Many of my colleagues cannot do that.”
Lesley Stahl: And what do you think happened?

Yevgenia: The Russian doctors’ official diagnosis is an acute intoxication by an undetermined substance, which is poisoning.

This happened just as Washington was raising questions about President Trump’s relationship with Mr. Putin. So last month Vladimir Kara-Murza became an issue on the Senate floor.

McCain: Vladimir has once again paid the price for his gallantry and integrity.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the apparent poisoning, but the Trump administration has not. Remarkably, Kara-Murza survived again. Less than three weeks after he collapsed, he was flown to the U.S. And two weeks later we spoke to him, for a second time.

Lesley Stahl: So you look pretty good. How are you actually feeling?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Well, you’re very kind. I don’t think I feel as good as I look.

He said he’s recovering faster because his doctors knew just what to do this time. The Kremlin has denied any involvement, and since no poison has been found yet, supporters of Putin question whether he was really poisoned at all.

Lesley Stahl: We’ve been told that we are very naive, naive journalists, gullible, and that this whole thing is concocted by the opposition to fool the American people into thinking that that regime would do such a thing.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: To those who say that this is a plot, I honestly, and I mean this sincerely, I wish they never have to experience what I’ve experienced twice in the last two years, when you’re trying to breathe and you cannot. When you feel your organs shutting down, giving up on you one after another. And when you feel the life coming out of your body in the next few hours, and you don’t remember anything for the next month. And then for the next year you’re trying to relearn how to walk, how to use cutlery, you know, how to talk to your kids again. I wish these people who tell you these things never have to experience this. I honestly, sincerely do.

Lesley Stahl: You were very, very sick and went back. Now, are you finished? Are you saying, “I’m not going back any”—

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Oh God no, of course not.

Lesley Stahl: You’re going to go back?

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Of course, I will absolutely go back to Russia. I am Russian, this is my country, and I believe in what I do, in what my colleagues do. There are many of us.

Lesley Stahl: But not many have almost died twice.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Many, unfortunately, have died. I’m the fortunate one. I’m still here. I’m still talking to you. Many of my colleagues cannot do that.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/putin-criti ... till-here/

Russian whistleblower’s death linked to poisoned soup

Toxic plant found in Alexander Perepilichny’s stomach, pre-inquest told

UK inquest into Russian’s death delayed

Alexander Perepilichny © YouTube/CNN

MARCH 13, 2017 by: Neil Buckley, East Europe editor
A Russian whistleblower may have been poisoned with a highly toxic plant that was switched for the usual ingredient in a Russian soup, a pre-inquest hearing into his death as heard.

Alexander Perepilichny, who was 44 at the time, collapsed while jogging near his home in Weybridge, Surrey, in November 2012.

His death was originally attributed to natural causes, but a pre-inquest review in 2015 heard that traces of a rare chemical, which can be found in the poisonous plant gelsemium elegans, had been found in his stomach.

Perepilichny was helping Hermitage Capital, the investment fund that employed the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, to investigate a $230m tax fraud allegedly carried out by Russian officials in league with a criminal gang.

At a further pre-inquest hearing on Monday, a lawyer suggested Perepilichny’s lunch on the day he died may have been a Russian soup based on sorrel, for which the poison may have been substituted.

Bob Moxon Browne, QC for Legal and General, the insurance group, said the contents of Perepilichny’s stomach had been “flushed away” shortly after his death.

But a small quantity of material retrieved from the stomach cavity had been tested and found to contain a “suspect compound” whose atomic weight matched that of a “vegetable poison”.

“If he was murdered, it does seem likely he was poisoned rather than any other method of bringing about his death,” Mr Moxon Browne said.

If he was murdered, it does seem likely he was poisoned rather than any other method of bringing about his death
Bob Moxon Browne, QC
Sergei Magnitsky’s death in jail after he uncovered the $230m fraud eventually led the US Congress in 2012 to adopt the Magnitsky Act, sanctioning Russian officials linked to the crime and his death and others involved in human rights violations.

British MPs last month backed an amendment to the Criminal Finances bill allowing the government to freeze the assets of human rights abusers from any country, following a campaign by Magnitsky’s supporters.

Though the poison in the Perepilichny case appears to have been vegetable rather than radiation or a heavy metal, his death on British soil carries echoes of the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, with radioactive polonium-210.

Unlike in the Litvinenko case, where a public inquiry concluded last year that Russian president Vladimir Putin “probably” approved the killing, the finger has not been pointed at the Kremlin in the Perepilichny affair.

But Hermitage Capital told a previous hearing that Perepilichny, a businessman who had contacted the fund offering information on the crime Magnitsky had investigated, was “afraid for his life”.

The fund’s lawyer said Perepilichny’s name, address and a file on his whereabouts had also been found in Moscow in possession of an alleged Chechen killer.

Mr Moxon Browne on Monday asked why no one appeared to have asked Perepilichny’s widow what he had eaten for lunch on the day he died.

“It is almost incredible [that] no witness statements have been taken by police from the widow, who was with him that day and had lunch with him,” he said.

The court heard evidence that Perepilichny had received threats by phone from an organised crime group, and had taken out “multiple” life insurance policies before his death.

The start of the Perepilichny inquest has been delayed after the British government sought successfully to keep confidential “sensitive” documents related to his death, using public interest immunity certificates. The government also sought public interest immunity for some information related to the Litvinenko affair, arguing its release could harm intelligence sources.

The coroner on Monday set a three- to four-week inquest to begin on June 5 in the Perepilichny case.
https://www.ft.com/content/567d109a-081 ... 3b21361b43
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby Iamwhomiam » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:27 pm

Poisoned By Polonium210
by A.Nekrasov

"If anything should happen to me, I beg you to show this tape to the whole world."

On November 23rd, 2006, these words, spoken on camera by exiled former KGB and FSB (post-communist Russia's secret police) agent Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko, became a gruesome self-fulfilling prophecy. After an agonizingly painful ordeal, Litvinenko succumbed to what was allegedly radiation poisoning from a lethal dose of toxic Polonium-210, surreptitiously slipped into his tea during a London meeting with two FSB ex-colleagues three weeks earlier.

In this documentary, filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov exposes the truth behind a crime that shocked the world and provoked a war of words between Russia and England that continues to this day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning ... Litvinenko

Run time 104 minutes 57 seconds


Interview with Marina Litvinenko & Ales Goldfarb (2007)
by A.Nekrasov

An interview by filmaker Andrei Nekrasov with Marina Litvinenko who is the widow of ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko was assasinated by way of being poisoned with Polonium-210 in 2006.

Run time 19 minutes 42 seconds

And much more on Litvinenko can be found on YouTube.
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:39 pm

Wealthy Russian allegedly poisoned with soup at home in Surrey received threatening text, inquest hears
Alexander Perepilichnyy collapsed and died while running near his home in Surrey

Telegraph Reporters
5 JUNE 2017 • 6:44PM
A wealthy Russian businessman who was allegedly poisoned with sorrel soup received a threatening text message the year before he died, an inquest has heard.

Alexander Perepilichnyy, 44, collapsed and died while running near his £3 million home in Weybridge, Surrey, in November 2012.

The businessman's death was originally attributed to natural causes, but traces of a chemical that can be found in the poisonous plant Gelsemium elegans were later found in his stomach.

His widow, Tatiana Perepilichnaya, spoke for the first time at the inquest yesterday, and said that she did not know who was behind the threatening message to her husband.

Mr Perepilichnyy's home in Surrey
Mr Perepilichnyy's home in Surrey CREDIT: VAGNER VIDAL/INS
Sent in June 2011, the text said: "Alexander you will go to prison really seriously for long. I can do that. If you want to live free and happily you have to pay 300,000 rubles [£6,000]."

Mrs Perepilichnaya added that the sum was nothing to her husband.

She also put out a statement in which she stated that there was "absolutely no evidence to support the fanciful theories" about her late husband's death which she said had caused "anguish and distress" to her and her children.

The inquest, sitting at the Old Bailey, will look at whether Mr Perepilichnyy was poisoned and who might have had a motive to murder him.

Before his death, he had been helping a specialist investment firm uncover a $230 million (£150 million) Russian money-laundering operation.

Alexander you will go to prison really seriously for long. I can do that. If you want to live free and happily you have to pay 300,000 rubles
Text message sent to Alexander Perepilichny in 2011
The inquest into the death opened in 2014, but has been hit by a string of delays and the Surrey coroner, Richard Travers, stepped down after a High Court order prevented the disclosure of secret documents.

Mrs Perepilichnaya, giving evidence from behind a screen, denied her husband fell out with an "organised crime syndicate" in Russia or that he moved to England because he owed people a lot of money.

The mother-of-two said the family only moved to the UK for their children's education and because she liked the culture.

Alexander Perepilichnyy's widow said that she did not believe he was murdered

Mrs Perepilichnaya, who is originally from Kurdistan, told the inquest that she made sorrel soup with her daughter the day that her husband died, and that they had both tasted it.

She also said that her husband took out multiple life insurance policies as a "necessary element of purchasing a house" in Britain.

He took out £3.5 million in insurance policies with three companies between May and July 2012. He also applied for a further £5 million in additional life insurance, the court heard.

The widow said he had been looking at buying a house worth nearly £8 million with a mortgage of up to £6 million.

Peter Skelton QC, counsel for the coroner, asked her: "He never mentioned to you 'there is a possibility I might die suddenly but you will be okay?"'

Mrs Perepilichnaya replied: "Of course not."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06 ... reatening/

Alexander Perepilichnyy death: Russian was 'not in fear of his life' inquest hears
5 June 2017
From the section Surrey These are external links and will open in a new window Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Messenger Share this with Email Share
Alexander Perepilichnyy

The inquest will look at whether Alexander Perepilichnyy died of natural causes or was unlawfully killed
The widow of a Russian whistleblower who may have been poisoned has told an inquest he never feared for his life.
Alexander Perepilichnyy, 44, collapsed and died while jogging near his home in Weybridge, Surrey, in November 2012.
Traces of a chemical linked to a plant-based poison were found in his stomach.
Mr Perepilichnyy, a commodity dealer and trader, had been helping a specialist investment firm uncover a $230m (£150m) Russian money-laundering operation shortly before his death.
The inquest will try to establish if he was unlawfully killed and, if so, who may have been responsible.
His widow Tatiana Perepilichnaya gave evidence at the Old Bailey behind a screen in order to protect her identity.
The mother of two denied her husband had fallen out with an "organised crime syndicate in Russia" and said they moved to England for a change of lifestyle.
"I know if there were any threats or problems Alexander would have told me.
"In 20 years of marriage Alexander never had bodyguard or security, so our life in Russia and our life in England never varied. It's the same."
She said she was unaware of a man taking out an advert in Russia in 2011 accusing her husband of cheating him out of "a lot of money".
Alexander Litvinenko in hospital after his poisoningImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Mr Perepilichnyy's death has been compared to that of Alexander Litvinenko
Mr Perepilichnyy was a dealer on the Russian stock exchange, the court heard.
Mrs Perepilichnaya said: "I just knew he was interested in that business. I didn't know what commodity meant."
The Russian was originally thought to have died of natural causes, but traces of a chemical that can be found in the poisonous plant Gelsemium elegans were later found in his stomach.
At an earlier hearing, Hermitage Capital Management claimed Mr Perepilichnyy may have been killed for helping it uncover hundreds of millions of US dollars in a Russian money-laundering operation.
A pre-inquest review in January 2016 was told Mr Perepilichnyy's death had parallels with the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Another hearing in June of the same year was told Interpol had been investigating Mr Perepilichnyy's suspected previous involvement with Russian criminal gangs.
The inquest is expected to last three weeks.
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:39 pm

The Man Who Knew Too Much
His nuclear research helped a judge determine that former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko had been assassinated – likely on Putin’s orders. Just months after the verdict, the scientist himself was found stabbed to death with two knives. Police deemed it a suicide, but US intelligence officials suspect it was murder.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/janebradley/sc ... .epdeKyYqM




Poisoned by Polonium 210: The Litvinenko murder
When a Russian dissident was poisoned in London with a highly radioactive substance, the UK government accused the Kremlin of his murder.
Alexander Litvinenko had been a colonel in the Russian security services, but claimed the Putin government was corrupt.
In November 2006 he suffered an excruciating death after he was poisoned with Polonium 210. His wife Marina was at his bedside.
Witness: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/stories-4210 ... nko-murder

TV drama aims to shed light on poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko
A decade on, the chilling story of the Russian spy’s murder is to be screened by a major network
Alexander Litvinenko in hospital.

Alexander Litvinenko photographed in University College Hospital in London days before he died from the effects of polonium poisoning. Photograph: Natasja Weitsz/Getty Images
Vanessa Thorpe
Sat 12 Nov ‘16 19.05 EST Last modified on Fri 1 Dec ‘17 22.52 EST

International espionage, poisoned teapots, mysterious radiation traces, political assassination: there is no question the facts surrounding the murder of Alexander Litvinenko have plenty of dramatic potential. But, 10 years on, they also still have powerful diplomatic implications.

Gordon Brown says Litvinenko murder 'ordered from the top'
Read more
This weekend the British television company behind the critically praised BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall has taken up the challenge of telling one of the most astonishing, sensitive and important British news stories of recent times. Company Pictures, also the makers of series such as Missing, The Village and Shameless, is working on a three-part drama based on the acclaimed book, A Very Expensive Poison, written by the Guardian’s former Moscow correspondent, Luke Harding.

“The book is a truly remarkable real-life fiction that reads like a Bond film,” said Judy Counihan, head of Company Pictures. “I cannot think of a more contemporary piece of drama. It mixes global power dynamics, dogged British detective work and the importance of democracy, freedom of speech and the rule of law to protect us from the rise of demagogues. This isn’t fiction, however, and that alone is chilling.”

The Litvinenko case might not match up to Wolf Hall for sumptuous costumes or courtly drama, but the pragmatic brutality of the central crime is certainly equal to Henry VIII’s decision to have Anne Boleyn beheaded. The project has attracted the interest of at least two leading screenwriters, said Counihan, and is now destined for broadcast on a major British network.

Harding’s book covers the complex events leading up to the London killing of the Russian dissident Litvinenko with the rare radioactive poison polonium 210, and then sets them in the context of political scheming inside the Kremlin.

Litvinenko inquiry: the key players

Harding, who spoke regularly to the murdered man’s widow, Marina, and who followed the case through to the shocking end of the inquiry in January this year, balances behind-the-scenes Kremlinology with the unnervingly normal routines of Litvinenko, who lived in suburban north London with his wife and young son. He also charts the erratic path taken by the initially ineffectual duo of assassins, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who checked into a Best Western hotel in Soho in October 2006, apparently unaware the poison they were carrying is one of the most deadly ever to be deployed.

“I’m thrilled that the Litvinenko story will finally be told as TV drama,” said Harding, who also wrote the book on which Oliver Stone has based his latest film Snowden, which is to be released here on 9 December. The Fifth Estate, the 2013 film which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, was also based on Harding’s book WikiLeaks, written with David Leigh.

Alexander Litvinenko had formerly been a spy with the Russian FSB. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

“For more than eight years much about Litvinenko’s murder was opaque,” said Harding. “It was only with the public inquiry in 2015 that we got the extraordinary details: that the assassins sent by Moscow were incompetent and took three attempts to poison their target; that the UK government has secret damning material which implicates Putin personally. It’s the stuff of thrillers. But, of course, it’s all real and scarily relevant.”

Counihan has been intrigued to see how tentative Britain has been about telling the story since the inquiry. “It’s as if Putin has really done his job well. Some people now truly fear his government can reach anywhere, at any time. It has helped create the myth,” she said.

The production company will focus on the Scotland Yard work that unravelled the crime and follow the links from the assassins to the secret services in Germany, Britain and Russia. The real jeopardy of the story will be clear if the drama opens, as planned, with Harding’s harassment by the FSB, the Russian spy agency for which Litvinenko worked until he fled to Britain in 2000. Putin’s secret agents even broke into the journalist’s family home in Moscow, leaving bugging devices and making it chillingly clear they had visited.

For Harding, there are three heroes in the story: “They are Marina Litvinenko, who was determined to find out the truth of her husband’s murder; the inquiry chairman Sir Robert Owen, who faced down Kremlin intimidation; and Scotland Yard, which conducted one of the most exhaustive police investigations in British criminal history.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ ... litvinenko
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:10 pm

Critically ill man is former Russian spy
Sergei Skripal speaks to his lawyer from behind bars seen on a screen of a monitor outside a courtroom in Moscow.Associated Press
Sergei Skripal, pictured here on the day of his sentencing in August 2006, was jailed for 13 years
A man who is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in Wiltshire is a Russian national convicted of spying for Britain, the BBC understands.

Sergei Skripal, who is 66, was granted refuge in the UK following a "spy swap" between the US and Russia in 2010.

He and a woman in her 30s were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

The substance has not been identified.

Police are investigating whether a crime has been committed, following the incident at the Maltings shopping centre.

Col Skripal, who is a retired Russian military intelligence officer, was jailed for 13 years in 2006 for spying for Britain.

Sergei Skripal: Who is the former Russian colonel?

He was convicted of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

Russia said Col Skripal had been paid $100,000 for the information, which he had been supplying from the 1990s.

He was one of four prisoners released by Moscow in exchange for 10 US spies in 2010, as part of a swap. Col Skripal was later flown to the UK.

He and a woman, aged in her 30s, are both in intensive care at Salisbury District Hospital.

Witness: "They looked like they'd been taking something quite strong"
A number of locations in the city centre were cordoned off and the A&E department was closed as teams in full protective gear used hoses to decontaminate the street.

Neighbours at Sergei Skripal's home in Salisbury say police arrived around 17:00 GMT on Sunday and have been there ever since.

They said he was friendly and in recent years had lost his wife.

Eyewitness Freya Church told the BBC it looked like the two people had taken "something quite strong".

She said: "On the bench there was a couple, an older guy and a younger girl. She was sort of leant in on him, it looked like she had passed out maybe.

"He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky."

Decontamination work at Salisbury Hospital
Public Health England has not confirmed what the substance was
Decontamination work at Salisbury Hospital
The hospital's A&E was closed on Monday while two people were treated
In a statement on Monday evening, Wiltshire Police said the pair had no visible injuries but were found unconscious.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said: "Because we are still at the very early stages of the investigation, we are unable to ascertain whether or not a crime has taken place."

The force is appealing for anyone with information to call them immediately on 999, adding officers do not believe there is any risk to the wider public.

Public Health England said in an updated statement that its specialists would be joining a "specially-convened group" to consider the Salisbury incident.

What were the charges against Col Skripal?

Col Skripal was convicted of "high treason in the form of espionage" by Moscow's military court in August 2006. He was stripped off all his titles and awards.

He was alleged by the Russian security service (FSB) to have begun working for the British secret services while serving in the army in the 1990s.

He had been passing information classified as state secrets and been paid for the work by MI6, the FSB claimed.

Col Skripal pleaded guilty at his trial and co-operated with investigators, reports said at the time.

Former Russian double agent ill in U.K. after exposure to unknown substance

The Red Square on the anniversary of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's death. Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty Images
A Russian who was jailed in 2006 for spying for Britain has been hospitalized in Salisbury, England, after being exposed to an unknown substance Sunday, the BBC reports. Police declared it a major incident, and the former spy and his girlfriend, who were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping mall, are both in critical condition, per The Guardian.

Other Russians have died in England under suspicious circumstances: In 2006, former KGB officer and whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium in London. In 2012, whistleblower Alexander Perepilichny died from a toxin while jogging in England.

The spying backdrop: Sergei Skripal, 66, is a retired Russian military intelligence colonel.

He was convicted for sharing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover operations in Europe with MI6, Britain’s intelligence service. Russia’s intelligence service, the FSB, claimed that Skripal had been passing the information on since the 1990s and had been paid $100,000 for it. Skripal pleaded guilty in 2006 and cooperated with investigators, per the BBC.
The Russian government pardoned him in 2010, and he was later released in exchange for 10 deep cover Russian spies arrested by the FBI in a U.S.-Russian prisoner swap. After the swap in Vienna, Skripal went to Britain and “kept a low profile," according to the BBC.
https://www.axios.com/former-russian-sp ... 30377.html
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:40 am

Russian spy: Sergei Skripal collapsed alongside daughter

Police are looking at CCTV footage of a man and woman walking near the bench where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found
The woman found slumped on a shopping centre bench alongside a former Russian agent convicted of spying for Britain is his daughter, it has emerged.

Yulia Skripal, in her 30s, and father Sergei, 66, are critically ill in hospital after being found unconscious in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Sunday.

UK police are trying to find out what "unknown substance" harmed the pair.

A number of emergency services workers were assessed immediately after the incident - and one remains in hospital.

Russia insists it has "no information" on what could have led to the incident, but says it is open to co-operate in the police investigation if requested.

Police officers near a forensic tent in SalisburyGetty Images
A forensic tent covers the area where the couple were found
Former agent Mr Skripal, whose wife, son and older brother have all died in the past two years, was granted refuge in the UK following a "spy swap" in 2010.

Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, told journalists that Moscow was prepared to help with the investigation.

"We see this tragic situation but we don't have information on what could have led to this, what he was engaged in," he said.

Police are currently examining CCTV footage, filmed by a Salisbury gym, showing an unidentified man and woman walking near to the location where Mr Skripal and his daughter were found.

Map showing Salisbury incident areas
Wiltshire Police said the pair, found at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, had no visible injuries - but that officers were investigating whether a crime had been committed.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said the police's "major incident" response was not a counter-terrorism investigation - but that multiple agencies were involved and they were keeping an "open mind".

Meanwhile, police have cordoned off a nearby Zizzi restaurant and The Bishop's Mill pub "as a precaution".

Presentational grey line
Who is Sergei Skripal?

Sergei Skripal speaks to his lawyer from behind bars seen on a screen of a monitor outside a courtroom in Moscow.Associated Press
Sergei Skripal, pictured here on the day of his sentencing in August 2006, was jailed for 13 years
Col Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, was jailed for 13 years by Russia in 2006.

He was convicted of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

In July 2010, he was one of four prisoners released by Moscow in exchange for 10 Russian spies arrested by the FBI as part of a swap. He was later flown to the UK.

Read more about Sergei Skripal's background here.

Putin, power and poison: Russia’s elite FSB spy club

Presentational grey line
An eyewitness, Freya Church, told the BBC she saw the pair sitting on the bench: "An older guy and a younger girl. She was sort of leant in on him, it looked like she had passed out maybe.

"He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky...

"They looked so out of it I thought even if I did step in I wasn't sure how I could help."

Witness: "They looked like they'd been taking something quite strong"
The possibility of an unexplained substance being involved has drawn comparisons with the 2006 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

The Russian dissident and former intelligence officer died in London after drinking tea laced with a radioactive substance.

A public inquiry concluded that his killing had probably been carried out with the approval of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina Litvinenko, told BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight the latest incident felt like "deja vu" - and called for those receiving political asylum to be "completely safe".

She said: "It just shows how we need to take it seriously, all of these people asking for security and for safety in the UK."

A police officer stands outside a restaurant which was closed after former Russian inteligence officer Sergei Skripal, and a woman were found unconscious on a bench nearbyReuters
Zizzi restaurant remains closed, with a police presence outside
The parallels are striking with the 2006 Litvinenko case. He, too, was a former Russian intelligence officer who had come to the UK and was taken ill for reasons that were initially unclear.

In that case, it took weeks to establish that the cause was deliberate poisoning, and it took close to a decade before a public inquiry pointed the finger of blame at the Russian state.

Officials are stressing that it is too early this time to speculate on what happened here or why.

The police are not even yet saying a crime has been committed, but if the similarities do firm up and Moscow is once again found to be in the frame there will be questions about what kind of response might be required - and whether enough was done in the past to deter such activity being repeated.
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Re: Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:42 am

Sergei Skripal Is Latest Russian Dissident Attacked in U.K. | Time

Pictured in this file image dated August 9, 2006, is retired colonel Sergei Skripal during a hearing at the Moscow District Court.
The news coverage reads like the beginning of an Ian Fleming novel.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent convicted of spying for Britain, is lying critically ill in a U.K. hospital, after he and his daughter were exposed to an “unknown substance” on Sunday.

Skripal, 66, a retired colonel who was convicted by Russian authorities in 2006 of spying for MI6, was part of a 2010 “spy swap” between the U.S. and Russia, similar to the one depicted in the 2015 film Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.

Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal, are now both fighting for their lives, after they were discovered unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury, England. Skripal’s wife, son and older brother have all died in the past two years, the BBC reports.

The incident is just the latest in a series of Russian-linked deaths or apparent assassination attempts that have taken place on British soil. The weapons of choice often seem straight out of a spy thriller; one man was poisoned with a cup of tea, another with the tip of an umbrella. Here are more famous cases.

Georgi Markov

People attend a commemoration service marking 35 years of the dead of Georgi Markov, a bulgarian disident killed in London in 1978, in a church in Sofia on September 11, 2013. Bulgaria is set to close a 35-year probe into the spectacular "umbrella killing" of dissident Georgy Markov in London in 1978, the prosecution in Sofia said Monday. Markov's murder has gone down as one of the most daring and extraordinary crimes of the Cold War. The prominent journalist and playwright fled communist Bulgaria in 1969 for Britain but continued to lambast the regime in reports for the BBC and Radio Free Europe.

In September 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident and a journalist for the BBC World Service, was waiting for a bus on Waterloo Bridge in London, England, when he was jabbed in the back of a leg with an umbrella. He quickly fell ill and was admitted to hospital, where he tried to tell members of staff that he had been poisoned by the KGB, the Soviet Union’s main security agency.

The tip of the umbrella had been laced with ricin, a deadly poison, and Markov later died. Decades later, similarities were drawn between Markov’s murder and the assassination of a man in Hannover, Germany, who was stabbed with an umbrella tip coated with mercury in 2012.

Alexander Litvinenko

In this image made available on November 25, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital on November 20, 2006 in London, England. The 43-year-old former KGB spy who died on Thursday 23rd November, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin in the involvement of his death. Mr Litvinenko died following the presence of the radioactive polonium-210 in his body. Russia's foreign intelligence service has denied any involvement in the case.

Natasja Weitsz—Getty Images

A cup of English tea may seem innocent enough. But in 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, met his downfall after reportedly sipping on tea laced with a rare radioactive isotope, polonium-210.

Litvinenko, 43, had been living in Britain after criticizing the Kremlin, and, it later emerged, had been on the MI6 payroll. On Nov. 1, he took tea at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, central London, with two former Russian agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun.

He died a few weeks later in a London hospital. In an interview with the BBC, his widow said he blamed the Kremlin, and claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally responsible for “everything that happened to him.”

British police also found traces of radioactive polonium at his home in north London, a sushi bar, and the hotel. A 2016 inquiry later found Lugovoi and Kovtun responsible for the poisoning of Litvinenko.

Boris Berezovsky

Boris Berezovsky addresses the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice after losing his lawsuit against Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich on August 31, 2012 in London, England. Berezovsky sued Abramovich for billions of pounds, claiming he was "intimidated" into selling shares in oil group Sibneft at below market value.

Warrick Page—Getty Images

An associate of Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky met a similarly grisly – and mysterious – end.

Berezovsky, a Russian power broker and former mathematics professor who accumulated great wealth during the breakup of the Soviet Union, fled to Britain in 2000 after criticizing Vladimir Putin. He became a popular figure in British society, finding friends among the House of Lords, The Independent reports.

However, Berezovsky continued his campaign against his one-time friend, Putin. He was a patron of emigres like Litvinenko, whom he paid to gather evidence of Russian corruption.

In March 2013, Berezovsky’s campaign came to an abrupt end when he was found hanged in the locked bathroom of his former wife’s mansion in Berkshire, England.

The 2014 British inquest into Berezovsky’s death was ultimately inconclusive, as the coroner unable to confirm whether it was suicide or murder. However, Bernd Brinkmann, a German professor whose specialized in hanging and asphyxiation cases, told the inquest he believed that two people would have had to have been involved in the hanging, and suggested that Berezovsky may have been attacked prior to his death, The New York Times reports.
http://time.com/5187333/sergei-skripal- ... ations-uk/
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