Thursday, January 21, 2016

Litvinenko Inquiry: Russian ambassador calls findings 'gross provocation' by Britain.

Alexander Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning in a London hospital in 2006 (Image source)

Former High Court judge Sir Robert Owen today deliverd his findings on the 2006 murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, 43, who died after ingesting radioative Polonium 210, according to final the report of an inquiry into the affair.

The Russian ambassador to the UK has called the report a whitewash which covers up the incompetence of British police and security forces in investigating the crime and and a gross provocation of Russia by the British / US alliance (he would say that, wouldn't he/)

Owen’s report, the result of a a six-month public inquiry, accused the Kremlin of ordering the assassination of Mr Litvinenko in London and using prime suspects Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun to carry it out.

However, the UK will not impose any economic sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s regime, not only does to report offer no concrete evidence to back up its allegations, the Kremlin already dismissing the inquiry findings before they have been published.

Senior Foreign Office diplomats have lobbied David Cameron, the Prime Minister, not to take further action because Anglo-Russian relations are vital in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) and the removal of Syrian president Bashar al Assad. (Russian cooperation against ISIS is a reality, that Putin's support in removing Assad might be forthcoming is just propaganda from the Obama Administration. Obama's insistence that there can be no negotiation until Assad is removed from power is the main obstacle blocking the path to peace in Syria.

So we see that the report, far from being an independent judicial review of the case, is just a manoeuvre aimed at embarrassing The Kremlin.

Sir Robert Owen reached a number of key findings in his 18-month inquiry into the death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. Here they are:

I am sure that Mr Litvinenko did not ingest the polonium 210 either by accident or to commit suicide. I am sure, rather, that he was deliberately poisoned by others.

I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun placed the polonium 210 in the teapot at the Pine Bar on 1 November 2006. I am also sure they did this with the intention of poisoning Mr Litvinenko.

I am sure that the two men had made an earlier attempt to poison Mr Litvinenko, also using polonium 210, at the Erinys meeting on 16 October 2006.

I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun knew that they were using a deadly poison (as opposed, for example, to a truth drug or a sleeping draught), and that they intended to kill Mr Litvinenko. I do not believe, however, that they knew precisely what the chemical that they were handling was, or the nature of all its properties.

I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun were acting on behalf of others when they poisoned Mr Litvinenko.

When Mr Lugovoy poisoned Mr Litvinenko, it is probable that he did so under the direction of the FSB. I would add that I regard that as a strong probability. I have found that Mr Kovtun also took part in the poisoning. I conclude therefore that he was also acting under FSB direction, possibly indirectly through Mr Lugovoy but probably to his knowledge.

The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin.

Political hacks and media luvvies in the UK were quick to start screeching for action against putin but when we examine the report's findings, every statement is hedged with qualifying term, 'probably', 'possibly', 'perhaps' and 'may have' appear to be the most frequently used words in the document. In fact the report even hedges its betes on stuff that has been known for years.

Just about the only new material offered is the idea that hostility between Vladimir Putin and Litvinenko stemmed from threats litvinenko made to expose Putin's paedophile activities with young boys. This allegation seems to have been part of a personal vendetta by Litvinenk against Putin. A trawl of the 'dark web' shows the only reports of it all refer to a document published by Litvinnko. This does not prove Putin's innocence of course, nut beither does it confirm his guilt.

So what are we to make of The Owen Report's accusation that Russia eliminated a man who may have been nothing more than a seditionist with a grudge against the President?

A look back over a few decades of recent history shows our own security services are not exactly above suspicion when it comes to the mysterious but convenient deaths of people who could seriously embarrass the government. All governments do it.

And the faux - outrage over unsubstantiated allegations of paedophilia are a tad hypocritical coming from the British political and media establishment. I hear Leon Brittan and Greville Janner were spotted drinking Victory Gin in The Chestnut Tree Cafe a couple of days ago. (for those not well read, that's a reference to George Orwell's '1984', not a conspiracy theory).

The biggest mistake made by Britain and the USA in the era of Blair and Bush was to introduce a pious moralism into foreign affairs. They abandoned the principles of realpolitik on which Western diplomacy had been based since WW2. The House and Downing Street quickly got into trouble and have stayed there ever since, because diplomatic relations with foreign powers are now dominated by the desire to appease politically correct elements in domestic politics. Foreign policy should be conducted by pragmatists who are mainly concerned about protecting the interests of their nations.


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