May 23 2007

Berezovsky Threatens Lugovoi?

Berezovsky has been apparently sending messages to his old family bodyguard – Andre Lugovoi – that he needs to stay quiet or else. This is not the first time Berezovsky has sent a message to Lugovoi his life was in danger. When Litvinenko died and Berezovsky’s PR machine ramped up he and his messengers (Alex Goldfarb primarily) mentioned the culprit was some unnamed Russian agent. For a month solid they never mentioned Lugovoi or Kovtun – but they sure hinted a lot in the media about the two – which is clear in hindsight and an observation I made a while back in this post:

The story of a Putin hit on Alexander Litvinenko was allows too contrived and convenient. The announcement of Putin’s alleged role was held off until after Litvinenko died in a PR coordinated campaign paid for by Berezovsky. For some reason getting the media to see and hear this from Litvinenko himself, the strongest way to convey the charge, could not happen. It seemed like everyone was waiting to see if Litvinenko survived before trotting out the Putin charge.

Then the Berezovsky media machine, headed by his mouthpiece Alex Goldfarb (of NY City – think of the cost and travel time involved) through out wild and shifting charges about Scarammella and Lugovoi – but never naming Lugovoi. Always hinting, as if sending a message of warning. That is until of course Lugovoi and Kovtun met with investigators and it became clear they were witnesses more than suspects – at which point Berezovsky did not rejoice in the breakthrough, he went on a character assassination binge against Lugovoi. If Lugovoi was becoming a witness and uncovering the plot, why would Berezovsky go on the warpath?

Berezovsky’s PR machine did not rejoice with the identification of Lugovoi and Kovtun – they dismissed them and tried to taint their honor and word. Then Lugovoi and Kovtun, ill form the Po-210 exposure, apparently made some sort of deal with investigators to provide evidence. It was like Berezovsky knew they were a threat to him – not that the killers had been found. And what happened next? Goldfarb came out and claimed Lugovoi’s life was in danger!

Alexander Goldfarb, a friend of Mr. Litvinenko’s, said he doubted that Mr. Lugovoi played a role in the killing.

“I frankly doubt that he was the hit man because hit men are usually people hiding in the dark,” Mr. Goldfarb told the AP. “I think it’s one of his associates, I think he was used unawares … Now his life is in danger because he knows a lot.”

This could be read as a warning to Lugovoi – don’t turn on us. We will try and cover for you and find another fall person. But your knowledge is dangerous. Now we have Berezovsky making the same threat again as the news of Lugovoi’s pending charges, and his planned sensational response that will up end this story is about to come out.

Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky said Wednesday that the life of the man accused of killing former spy Alexander Litvinenko could now be in danger because of what the suspect knows about the plot.

Berezovsky told The Associated Press that the poisoning had been carried out on behalf of the Russian government and that Lugovoi could be “killed within the next two or three years” because of the information he knows.

The tycoon, now living in London after falling out with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has long accused the Russian government of being behind the plot to silence outspoken Kremlin critic Litvinenko, but Moscow has always denied the allegations, describing them as baseless and ridiculous.

“He is the suspect of the plot in London, but he is also the witness of the plot in Moscow, and that is more dangerous,” Berezovsky said of Lugovoi in a telephone interview.

“I tell you there is no doubt in Russia Lugovoi will be killed,” he said. “They don’t want to keep him alive because he is a witness of Putin’s crime.”

Is this the last in a series of not-so-veiled threats Berezovsky has sent through the media to Lugovoi? If Berezovsky is involved in a busted smuggling operation (hypothetically), and he wants to retain the media spin of a Russian hit job, would he not consider killing Lugovoi and pinning it on Putin? Berezovksy is no saint. He plundered Russia’s economy and tried to rig elections and get his puppets put in power (Putin was supposed to be one such puppet).

I find it disturbing no one sees the possible darker scenarios in these threats coming from Berezovsky. A man who has multiple times gone on the record in support of the violent (i.e., deadly) overthrow of Putin since the democratic process will not put in power his puppets (Putin is too popular in Russia).

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