The tea that killed Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006 contained a dose of radioactive polonium worth $10 million. His murder was not only ordered, it was sponsored. Everything suggests that the culprit and his sponsors live in Moscow.
Last December, the Russian Attorney General's Office claimed that Litvinenko had been murdered by one of the country's oligarchs. Even if men like Berezovsky and Nevzlin have enough money to buy polonium, a British prosecutor decided on the basis of the evidence that Andrej Lugovoj was the murderer. The suspect, a 'former' KGB colonel and now an entrepreneur, is not being protected from extradition by an oligarch but by the Kremlin.
Litvinenko's murder was not only ordered and sponsored, it was also bungled. Its organizers were too confident that no one would discover the cause of his death. The British newspaper The Guardian reported that doctors had only found it was polonium by accident. Once investigators knew what they were looking for, they followed the radioactive clues and found not only Lugovoj but also the source of the polonium he used (both the reactor it came from and the date it was made).
Russian investigators have not even begun to examine how polonium made near Moscow could have killed someone in London. President Putin has claimed since last year that the murder was not an act of state terrorism. If it were not, Russian organs would have no reason to protect Lugovoj, and would at least consider extraditing him.
The request for Lugovoj's extradition should not come only from Britain, but from the entire European Union. Including Slovakia.
Sme, May 24
28. May 2007 at 0:00 | Marián Leško