Dec 01 2006

Berezovsky Has “Scanned” Letters On Litvinenko

Update: The letters referred to below were ‘smuggled’ out of Russia.

And detectives are investigating letters smuggled out of Russia which purport to show the existence of a secret squad set up to target Mr Litvinenko and others. Scotland Yard has been passed copies of two letters apparently written in jail by former Russian spy Mikhail Trepashkin, one of which warns Mr Litvinenko that both he and his family are at risk.

Why smuggled? Why not passed through channels? And we know one letter was penned after Litvinenko got sick and the other after he died (I suspect they were both penned recently). So why smuggle what could be a simple attempt to get some publicity from a criminal? This smells too much like a stages act.

Update: Here is a good, sane, measured report on what is known and not known. It clearly shows the Ishu Sushi Bar being the first contamination site and explains how the Russians who met with Litvinenko were possibly secondary carriers after being contaminated by Litvinenko. – end update

The evidence pointing towards an assassination (and away from Berezovsky) is getting quite thin this morning, as scans of letters (aka, copies – not originals) of letters purported to have warned Litvinenko he was in trouble (duh! – he had arrest warrants out for him) are made available by – surprise! – Berezovsky’s spokesman Alex Goldfarb (the man of a million alibis):

Detectives are investigating letters smuggled out of Russia purporting to show the existence of a secret squad set up to target poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko and others.

Scotland Yard has been passed copies of two letters apparently penned in jail by former Russian intelligence officer Mikhail Trepashkin, in one of which Mr Litvinenko is warned that both he and his family are at risk.

Mr Litvinenko’s London friend Alex Goldfarb said scans of the letters came into his possession on Thursday and he passed them to Scotland Yard.

Mr Trepashkin, who worked for the KGB’s successor the FSB until 1997, was tried in 2004, accused of being a British spy and passing secret information to Mr Litvinenko and his close friend the tycoon Boris Berezovsky, both exiled in London.

Wonder how much Berezovsky promised to Trepashkin to pen these letters since Litvinenko died? Scans of letters from a Berezosvky ally? And they just came into Berezovsky’s possession (Goldfarb works for Berezovsky and has been spokesman on this incident since Berezovsky brought in his PR firm to help manage communications)? Pullleeease! How very, very convenient. And no custody trail for the authorities to confirm. Berezovsky is getting nervous. In fact, these letters are incredibly convenient and timely since they reflect the same “rogue group” theory leaked to the media yesterday:

The letters include one to Mr Litvinenko which he never received, as well as one to his friend Mr Goldfarb. In the message to Mr Litvinenko on November 20, Mr Trepashkin recalls a conversation in August 2002 in which he warned Mr Litvinenko – already living in London – that he and his family were at risk from the FSB.

Mr Trepashkin tells his friend that he had met an FSB contact near a railway station in Russia who told him that a “very serious group” had been set up, which “will knock out all those associated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko”.

The letter says that Mr Trepashkin was urged to co-operate with the group and provide information on Mr Litvinenko and members of his family. Mr Goldfarb said the other letter, addressed to him and written on November 25, detailed an offer to be a witness in the British investigation.

The “Rogue Agents” theory come out yesterday in this same paper, and now Goldfarb announces to the media (and I suppose the police as well) these confirming letters he just received? Did I mention the PR firm Berezovsky brought into this matter before Litvinenko died?

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Berezovsky Has “Scanned” Letters On Litvinenko”

  1. Lizarde1 says:

    Goldfarb attended the inquest yesterday standing in for the widow per some newspaper account – he’s everywhere

  2. AJStrata says:


    Not only is he everywhere – he is being paid. Well I would assume. We need to know who contaminated Berezovsky’s offices and when.

  3. Lizarde1 says:

    REply to comment in thread below:
    AJS – the time line is still vague – we really don’t know yet when the Millenium meeting was – 4 pm or earlier? I agree it was probably after the Sushi bar and before the soccer game but we still don’t have the timing confirmed. It was Goldfarb I believe who suggested that Boris took L. to the hospital and that is probably a big lie and supports your theory of timing. Nevertheless obviously the police know when the meeting was since there were witnesses in the bar etc. The Police sure spent a lot of time and energy at the Millenium per newspaper accounts and on tracking the members of that meeting. Maybe today we will hear more on the timeline I hope and his movements after the newspaper and before the Sushi bar.

  4. Lizarde1 says:

    THis is what is bothering me but it may be incorrect or false reporting or intended to mislead (from Telegraph below): I still tend to think Litvinenko was carrying the stuff himself – maybe Boris gave it to him and that is why they are so involved in the PR campaign and with the widow.
    Clear traces of the radiation were found on the floor of a room, thought to be in the Millennium hotel in central London, the source said, as well as on a light switch in the same room. The traces were so strong that they indicated the actual source of the radiation was present, not a secondary source such as excretions from Mr Litvinenko’s contaminated body.

  5. jerry says:

    Are these the documents that Scaramella gave Litvinenko?

  6. AJStrata says:


    I am confident of the Millenium Bar timeline because of the witnesses and because Litvinenko left the hotel and went to Grosvenor 25 to talk to his bud at the security firm – same business as the opportunity being discussed. The Sushi Bar is definitely earlier.

    One has to wonder why Berezovsky would drive Zakayev’s car to the hospital? Didn’t he take a car from his house to Litvinenko’s?

    Also, the material on the light switch is a dead giveaway the material was not from Litvinenko’s internals but from something on him. Were the Russians involved in a the black market angle? Prossibly and probably. But assassination angle is rapidly falling apart if Litvinenko was trailing Polonium dust.

  7. AJStrata says:


    No. These are scans Goldfarb ‘found’ just yesterday!

  8. jerry says:

    One more idea that just came to mind, if the polonium pill was dropped on the floor of a private room at the Millennium… and Sasha stopped by to see the Russians at the Millennium before the sushi bar (but before they met as a group in the bar)… he could have been dosed with tea in that room, and he could have stepped on radiation left on the floor when the pill bounced earlier… and then tracked radiation around parts of London. A little far fetched but, eh, why not.

  9. AJStrata says:


    Litvinenko was never in their room – that has been reported. Large doses were found in the urinal near the bar in the lobby – which puts the poisining hours before hand since the poison needs time to digest and get into the urine.

    The hotspot on the floor could be from clothes the Russians wore which had Polonium-210 dust which Litvinenko had on him. The Sushi Bar is definitely before the Millenium hotel in the timeline.

    A ‘pill’ would not provide the trail we see – and is too late in the time line.

  10. jerry says:

    Goldfarb is given a scan of a personal letter from Trepashkin to Litvinenko written when he was near death, plus earlier letters. Sounds like a very good interception in Russia, or a fraud, or a source friendly to Sasha; interesting that they are scans. The allusion to an August 2002 conversation in the recent letter might indicate to Sasha who poisoned him.

  11. jerry says:

    Looks like we’re thinking along somewhat similar lines.

  12. AJStrata says:


    It would seem most people are simply falling for the press reporting – which is abysmal on this subject in general. Only question is whether the media is showing off their ignorance or their skullduggery?

  13. Barbara says:

    Perhaps Litvinenko passed the polonium to the Russians. They seem to all be ex-KGB agents and friends. Maybe the polonium was sent to Russia with these men. Maybe someone in Russia was the target and Litvinenko’s poisoning was an accident. There have been so many murders in Russia recently and we know the Chechens shot that guy on the street Nov. 18. All these murders involved multiple publicity. I still think the Russians would be more discreet but not more civilized.

  14. Barbara says:

    Another thing. Where is the polonium now?

  15. jerry says:

    I think we’re talking past each other about the Millenium. I agree that the sushi bar is the first point in the known timeline, urinal in the bar is an accepted part of this.

    But you’ve talked a bit about the mystery of what Sasha did before the sushi, what if he stopped by one of the Russian’s rooms before the sushi bar, what if he had some tea that had been poisoned before going to the sushi bar? The reason for saying this is that there’s apparently a very large amount of radiation on the floor of one of the guest’s rooms at the Millennium – far more concentrated than anywhere else (they could put a film on the floor and see the bounce, for instance, maybe even a partial shoe print).

    Linking the original pill to the room (maybe there’s also personal info like the seat contamination on a plane that a suspect took from Moscow to London) then leads to the question of how did it subsequently get to Sasha, at the sushi bar, in the hotel room, or somewhere in between?

    Here I’ll say that I think the press descriptions of a “trail” around London are just inaccurate, it would be a collection of hotspots linked by where Sasha went that day (unless he managed to actually step on the high level radioactivity on the hotel room floor and then track it around London, I haven’t seen reporting to this effect). I don’t go for the sweat hypothesis, and I notice you don’t also.

    The idea of particles of Po210 falling off Sasha as he walked around London is, I guess, linked to your idea that he was involved in smuggling and got contaminated in the process, maybe at BorisBs or a related place? There’d be some very hot particles at his home if this was the case. If we believe the bouncing pill story, maybe Sasha got contaminated collecting the pill at the hotel before heading off to the sushi bar?

    I’ll take a break, I’m worrying about writing endless commentary today.

  16. Lizarde1 says:

    Barbara – that is the 64,000 question or adjusted for inflation 1 million dollar question. Unless of course it was just spilled and ingested totally

  17. clarice says:

    FOX: Scaramella has also polonium ingestion:
    “Breaking News Mario Scaramella Radiation Hits Second Man Updated: 14:53, Friday December 01, 2006 A contact of an ex-Russian spy who died after ingesting a radioactive toxin has the same substance in his body, Sky News has learnt. Italian academic Mario Scaramella tested positive for isotope Polonium-210. He had met Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko at a sushi restaurant in London, shortly before he fell ill. Sky’s Martin Brunt said Mr Scaramella had not shown the same symptoms as Mr Litvinenko, who suffered vomiting and loss of hair before he died.”

  18. AJStrata says:


    The magical question is when and how did Berezovsky’s office get contaminated. Yes, it is possible Litvinenko met the Russians earlier in the day and that may be the source of the confused reporting. If that is the case then yes, there is a good case that the material was brought to Litvinenko by Lugovoi. Then did Litvinenko then take it to Berezovsky like a good little mule?

  19. The Million Dollar Question…

    What exactly is going on here. Who killed Alexander Litvinenko using a radioactive isotope, Polonium 210? It was apparently sprayed on the sushi Litvinenko was eating, but no one knows who did it or why. There are lots of fingers pointing in the dire…..