Mar 16 2007

More Polonium Contamination In London

Up until recently I had only read about three hotels in London contaminated with Po-210, and all associated with trips to London by Andre Lugovoi to meet Alexander Litvinenko. Here is one report which covers all the trips and contamination we knew about until recently:

The focus yesterday was on Mr Lugovoi, a former KGB agent who runs a security firm in Moscow, and his business partner Mr Kovtun. They arrived in Britain by Transaero flight on Oct 16 and stayed at the Parkes Hotel in Knightsbridge, meeting Mr Litvinenko and attending a meeting at the private security firm Erinys.

The following day, Mr Lugovoi met Mr Litvinenko again, eating at Itsu before a meeting at another security firm, thought to be RISC Management on Cavendish Place. Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun then flew back to Moscow. The hotel and both offices tested positive for polonium 210.

The pair returned to London on a British Airways flight on Oct 25, staying at the Sheraton on Park Lane and meeting Mr Litvinenko again before flying back on Oct 28. The Sheraton has also tested positive for polonium 210.

Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun’s final visit came by British Airways on Oct 31 to watch Arsenal play CSKA Moscow. They stayed at the Millennium and met Mr Litvinenko in the Pine Bar. As well as bar staff being exposed to polonium, traces have also been found in rooms on the fourth floor.

Then not to long ago we posted on a new restaurant and another hotel with Po-210 contamination. The restaurant caught my attention because it was frequented by associates of Berezovsky. At the time I thought the hotel was associated with a Swedish couple that ended up at the Millenium Pine Bar and exposed, but apparently it is much more than that. I caught the reporting that two rooms had been cordoned off, but let the story go when no more was said. Apparently this hotel is key to the Po-210 mystery:

POLICE investigating the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko have told a York student to undergo polonium 210 testing.

Dani Fallon, 20, was contacted by Scotland Yard detectives, because she had stayed in a hotel room used by suspects in the assassination.

Miss Fallon and Miss Walker stayed in the Best Western Hotel in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on October 27 – two nights after the room had been used by people now suspected of poisoning the former KGB agent.

OK, Lugovoi would not stay in two hotels at once, so how is it there is contamination in two hotels for the period Oct 23-25th? And Kovtun, I believe, was in Moscow about to make his fateful trip to Hamburg on Oct 27th, so he could not be in the second hotel. So clearly there are more suspects than just Lugovoi and Kovtun. And clearly there is more to the Po-210 trail now that we have added a 4th hotel linked to the people with the Po-210. Note that the reporting mentions ‘suspects’ – plural. So there are more suspects than we know about.

And in another bizarre twist that really flies in the face of a Putin orchestrated hit we have Dmitry Kovtun planning to go to Germany and work with authorities on the case. And his ex-wife is convinced he is innocent and is going to do what she can to prove it. Now if Kovtun was a paid assassin who could point to Putin the last place you would find him is talking to German authorities. And if German authorities (or Interpol) thought he was part of an assassination team he would be captured immediately. But that is not what is playing out.

What is playing out is Kovtun and Lugovoi appear to still be key witnesses who may have turned on their bosses after their bosses got them nearly killed along with Litvinenko. Lugovoi and Kovtun act as if they are witnesses, comfortable to make trips to Germany, possibly London and go on vacations. They are not acting as if they think they will be nabbed by authorities.

And one other bit of news I missed is this about another witness who met with Litvinenko on Oct 30th (in between the trips Lugovoi was making to London to meet Litvinenko and Berezovsky). This other witness is interesting and this is not the first time he has been questioned. And there is an interesting tidbit I found on this much earlier story which must be taken into account when dealing with the Po-210 trail:

Mr Sidelnikov said he was examined for polonium-210 by experts from the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, who asked him to come to the examination in the same clothes he wore the day of his meeting with Litvinenko.

”They asked me to do this because they said that particles of polonium remain on clothes and cannot be washed away, and that if there were any particles, then sensors would definitely have given out a signal,” he said.

If true then the trail of Po-210 can really only be left by a cache of Po-210. If a container was not capable of containing 100% of the Po-210, then it is likely the trail across London was from the material itself. In a previous post I reviewed the recently released HPA report on how Po-210 travels through the body which makes it clear Po-210 is not excreted through the skin in any large amounts, and not for days after contamination. Other statements by the HPA on the risks to those living with contaminated people clearly indicate sweat is not a path for Po-210 to find its way onto furniture, etc.

So if it is not deposited by sweat and it cannot be easily dislodged from clothes then that can only mean it was on someone’s skin or they had a leaky container with them. Which brings me back to all that Po-210 in Berezovsky’s office. How did it get there? And how is it a political ally of Berezovsky, who is helping him establish an opposition movement in Russia, is now implicated in the very same Po-210 trail?

Update: It seems that Mr Sidelnikov, than Berezovsky associate who is getting a second look by authorities, is a devout communist. If anyone would use ‘the old ways’ of the USSR it would clearly be one who is so enamoured with the brutal USSR. Of course Copydude was onto Sidelnikov a long time ago.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “More Polonium Contamination In London”

  1. Carol_Herman says:

    The easiest place to get “dosed” with nuclear materials is inside a hospital. Just follow the signs in the radiology department.

    If the stipulation is that Litvinenko arrived to the hospital ready to die; then, the hospital care was making inroads. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, here.

    Instead, you get a PR man providing a “cover” … While what really happened is UNKOWN. (The way Donald Rumsfeld would use that word.)

    Pieces that still don’t match?

    Where’s the profits?

    And, why such a round-about way to get Litvinenko killed? Maybe, he died from something else? Not food poisoning. But from contamination that occurred when he “mishandled the merchandise.” Sort’a the way a snake-handler can get bit. It’s not an unexpected outcome, even when the swami is experienced.

    What killed Litvinenko?

    We know what sent him to the hospital. And, what sent him wasn’t food poisoning.

    Then? If he could tell the doctors what was wrong, why did he at first say he ate “raw fish?” Why blame a restuarant? Nobody else was being hospitalized from eating raw fish and the very establishment that went on the accusatory list, first.

    And, po-210 has a short shelf life. By now? The batch Litvinenko was working with has turned to lead.

    Was Litvinenko involved in a trial balloon? Doing something that was considered “novel?” Instead of something that was assured? Guaranteed to work if you mixed things together?

    On the off-chance that this is a red-herring, what else is at play?

    What do the russians want to find out?

    Since getting “cooperation” from Moscow must mean that putin has some questions he also wants answered. What could they be?

    Are we really looking at “suspects?” Or just a box from Clue. With the tools to do harm, but no one has yet sorted out the cards. Nor do we really know much else about the players except there was a lot of money available. For people who didn’t have to work 8 hour days.

    Oh, and none of them, so far, look like scientists. Funny. If you needed a car mechanic, you’d call one in. Here? The only phone call that went out went out to Goldfarb. To make phone calls into the media, so some sort of slap-dash scheme could be addressed. Or the real clues, buried.

    I doubt if Scotland Yard is gonna share secrets, if the new modalities of death aren’t involving Global Warming.

    Litvinenko? Heck, at this point he could have been killed because of some medication error. You. Just. Don’t. Know.

    While guests showing up at a hotel, two days after Kovton, or someone masquerading as Kovton, bought an overnight hotel room.

    What about the maids? What about everybody else in contact with that room? Linens are washed. Stuffed is vacuumed. Where did the trash go? As a matter of fact, the odds escalate that a lot of stuff could have been going on that hasn’t even, as yet, been identified. All you got? Goldfarb’s clues.

  2. Snapple says:

    In this article from the London Times/Fox News, a Russian named Gusak who used to be in charge of the unit of the KGB that kills people says Russian agents offered to kill Litvinenko because he defected to the Brits and told them state secrets.,2933,250821,00.html

  3. Snapple says:

    You are ignoring a lot of background to this murder.

    In Washington a famous expert on the KGB, Paul Joyal was shot soon after he did an interview for Dateline and pinned this poisoning on Putin.

    The other man interviewed on the program, a British Reporter named Dan McGrory did suddenly on Feb 20, a few days before the program aired.

    I think this all goes back to the apartment buildings bombed in Russia. I am not happy to say this, but I think Putin is real bad news.

    Here is my research on the people who have died because they investigated these bombings.

  4. AJStrata says:

    Paul Joyal seems to have resisted a carjacking and was shot. And what would be the benefit of shooting him AFTER he made is claims on TV?

    Gimme a break.