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Poisoning of Litvinenko

Poisoning of Litvinenko

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Published by OlegVal
Poisoning of Litvinenko
Poisoning of Litvinenko

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Published by: OlegVal on Mar 03, 2009
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Exclusive: Murdered ex-KGB officer was working for British securitycompanyLarisa AlexandrovnaPublished: Monday December 11, 2006Print This Email This Print page sponsored by Velvet Revolution.Continued coverage of the Litvinenko MurderAlexander Litvinenko, the ex-FSB officer who was recently murdered inLondon, was working for a British security firm at the time of hisdeath, two well placed British sources who wish to remain unidentifiedtell RAW STORY.One of the 12 to 24 polonium contamination sites in the Piccadilly areaof London identified by British authorities was the office of thesecurity and risk management company Erinys International Ltd.Erinys has been a player in international relations since it wasfounded in 2002 by Sean Cleary, a South African Apartheid-era officialwith ties to Angolan right wing extremist Jonas Savimbi, and JonathanGarratt, a former British Guards officer. Cleary left the firm inOctober 2003. Garratt, for his part, has strong ties to Ahmed Chalabi,the notorious source of Iraq pre-war WMD fabrications, and managed toland Erinys an $86 million dollar contract to guard Iraqi oil pipelinesafter US-led forces began war with Iraq.Two separate British sources who, given the security risk, asked to notbe identified in any specific way, have confirmed that Litvinenko wasworking on contract for Erinys. Given the focal point of the company,Litvinenko's employment has proven to be an interesting development.Erinys did not return requests for comment.Erinys and Litvinenko"Erinys is trying to break into the Russian [security and intelligence]market and Litvinenko was the front man introducing them to all sortsof people" said one of the sources.These sources further explained that the reason Litvinenko was meetingat Erinys' offices around the time of his contamination was to broker adeal of some sort with a Russian security startup being created by twoformer FSB agents, Andrei Lugovoi and his business partner DmitryKovtun.The three men had a flurry of cross-nation meetings beginning shortlyafter the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya andcontinuing up until Litvinenko's poisoning:October 7: Anna Politkovskaya found shot to death in her apartmentbuildingOctober 16: The three men meet at ErinysOctober 17: Lugovoi meets Litvinenko at the Itsu sushi bar, with Kovtun
 
and Lugovoi returning to Moscow later that eveningOctober 25: Kovtun and Lugovoi return to LondonOctober 28: The two men return to MoscowOctober 31: Kovtun and Lugovoi return and stay at the Millennium hotelNovember 1: Litvinenko meets with Maria Scaramella at Itsu, then meetsKovtun and Lugovoi at the Millennium, then becomes violently ill.According to the two British sources, Litvinenko was makingintroductions between Lugovoi and someone at Erinys. But there areadditional allegations that Litvinenko had agreed to meet with thetwosome to get information on Politkovskaya's death that one of theformer Russian FSB officers claimed to have had.What business dealings Litvinenko may have been pursuing as arepresentative of Erinys with Lugovoi and Kovtun remains unclear.However, it may be significant that Erinys added an expert in Russianand Caspian oil and gas geopolitics to their management team just lastApril.Caught in the middle of a 'turf war'?A US intelligence official suggested that Litvinenko was trying to getErinys a security contract with one of the state-owned energy firms andspeculated that this could be a reason why the FSB might have allegedlyassassinated Litvinenko."Seems like at least one reason for the hit on Sasha Litvinenko hassomething to do with a turf war," said this source.Some US intelligence experts believe that Litvinenko was lured into themeetings by Kovtun and Lugovoi on the pretext of helping Erinys extendits interests in Russia, while others believe there was a genuine andlegitimate business relationship with no sinister motive behind themeetings.Still others believe that documents relating to both Politkovskaya'sdeath and her work in tracing the funding of pro-Moscow Chechen allegedterrorists were passed to Litvinenko during one of these meetings byone of the two Russians, and possibly also by a third, who hasvehemently denied charges that he was present.Russian Assassinations Not NewOne senior CIA officer recently back from Moscow asserted thatregardless of the various possible connections among the multipleinterests and activities of Litvinenko and his associates, his murderwas a state sponsored "hit" with clear indications of the FSB andelements of SVR -- the Russian equivalent of the FBI -- as theculprits.After the fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB split into two structures,with the FSB taking over much of the domestic policing and intelligenceservices that had been under the purview of the KGB. The secondstructure created out of the KGB was its foreign intelligence service,known as the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki).European journalists, including British, Polish, and Russian writerswith whom RAW STORY has been communicating, find it surprising that US
 
interest in the Litvinenko case is so minimal. In addition, some ofthese journalists find what they call "conspiracy theories" of a "Putinis being framed" variety rather odd, given the "sordid activities" ofthe FSB under Putin.One foreign source, who wishes to remain fully anonymous, pointed tosimilar assassinations conducted by Russian FSB, SVR, and GRU (MilitaryIntelligence) agents "by the light of day" against high value targets.This source specifically pointed to the assassination of ZelimkhanYandarbiev, a writer, poet, and prominent Chechen leader critical ofthe Kremlin, who died in 2004 when a car bomb detonated while he washiding out in Qatar with his family.Qatari secret service officers detained three Russian nationals in thesmall hours, February 19, on suspected assassination involvement. Allthe three were in Qatar on mission. One of the detainees, FirstSecretary of the Russian Embassy, was promptly released due todiplomatic immunity, and came back to Moscow, March 24.The others were indicted, February 26, on suspected premeditatedmurder, unauthorized storage of explosives, and another seven charges.Another example of an alleged FSB assassination is eerily similar tothe way that Anna Politkovskaya was killed. Galina Starovoitova, amember of the Liberal Democratic party serving in the Duma, the lowerbody of Russia's parliament, was shot point blank in her apartmentbuilding in 1998. She was strongly opposed to the FSB and itsleadership, including now-President Vladimir Putin, and the power ofRussian intelligence and military organizations in general within theRussian government.About 10,000 people paid their final respects to Galina Starovoitova.The line was so long that her funeral was delayed so every mournercould have a chance to pass by her casket.The liberal member of parliament was shot to death last Friday as shewalked up the stairs to her apartment. The feisty 52-year-oldgrandmother had planned to run for president in 2000.In yet another example, Russian journalist Yuri PetrovichShchekochikhin, died of a mysterious illness in 2003, later linked tothallium. He was critical of the FSB and was investigating FSB ties toUS energy companies and money laundering activities.RAW STORY earlier reported on the allegations made by Litvinenko andothers concerning the alleged false-flag bombings in Russia during1999. Well placed sources allege that Anna Politkovskaya wasinvestigating the bombings by tracking the funding channels of the pro-Russian advocates in the Chechen leadership. The bombings were allegedto have been orchestrated by the FSB in order to frame the Chechenseparatist movement and justify military action against them. Theinvestigation into the bombings, however, was stopped dead in itstracks when yet another assassination occurred.Sergei Yushenkov was the co-chairman of a formal committee convened tostudy the Russian bombings, which he, like others, came to believe werethe handiwork of the FSB. He was shot point blank in Moscow, near hisapartment.

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