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Official: Litvinenko case proceedings are used in interests of intelligence services

March 11, 10:02 UTC+3
Earlier, the media said Russian drug control service chief's name was mentioned during the court hearings in London, where he was accused of interference with the crime in the 1990s
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Viktor Ivanov

Viktor Ivanov

© Alexey Druzhinin/Russian president's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. The court proceedings against Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian intelligence service, FSB, was used in interests of intelligence services; the farce was staged to blackmail the Russian Federation, its officials, including the president, head of the Russian drug control authority, Viktor Ivanov, said in an interview with TASS on Friday.

Earlier, the media said the official's name was mentioned during the court hearings in London, where he was accused of interference with the crime and of relations with a criminal group, which in the 1990s in Russia was selling drugs and make the "money laundering" for a Columbian drug cartel.

"This, of course, is a unique phenomenon. Our Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said there is nothing to discuss as it has no procedural legal value. Since there any suggestion or any claim begins with "possibly" or "may be" and so forth," he said. "The key target figure was not head of FSKN, but the country's president, as they do not care there much for elementary manners or fair court proceedings."

"The so-called witnesses there were Dean Attew and Yuri Shvets, who has been living in the US since the late 1980s, without leaving the country. No wonder what a "witness" he is, what testimony he may give."

The only truth of all mentioned there was that Ivanov, right, was at the Federal Counterintelligence Service (now called FSB) head of the department on fighting smuggling before he became a state official.

"And right at that time we prevented an attempt to smuggle into Russia one ton of Columbian cocaine. At that time, we confiscated a 20-feet container, heading from Columbia, which was packed with 20 tons of Columbian tinned beef. One of them was filled with Columbian cocaine. We found it, made an investigation, which was by the way joint with European intelligence services. Thus, the fantasies of Mister Shvets are based purely on fiction," Invanov said adding the London court was used cynically in interests of some intelligence services, as well as of a certain political establishment.

The final report on the public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko was published in London on January 21. Counsel Robert Tam said the open proceedings lasted 34 days and evidence presented by 62 witnesses was examined. The document said that Russia was linked to Litvinenko’s murder while the two Russians, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun, had acted as perpetrators. But, the British investigators failed to confirm the Russian origin of the Polonium, which, according to them, had been used to poison the former FSB employee.

Moscow is certain that London’s probe into the Litvinenko case has as political background. As the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia had no reasons to expect the final report would be objective and impartial. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that very serious accusations had been launched against Russia’s senior leadership without the provision of any convincing piece of evidence. He added that the British leaders could easily be prosecuted for slander if a good lawyer had analyzed all the facts and statements carefully.

Alexander Litvinenko, who had been granted asylum in Britain, died in London on November 23, 2006. Forensic examination found that his death was due to poisoning with polonium, but all circumstances of his death have not been established yet and remain a controversy. The lawyers of Litvinenko’s widow have acknowledged that before the moment of his death Litvinenko had long been on the payroll of Britain’s secret service (foreign intelligence MI6) and of Spanish intelligence. Shortly before his death he obtained British citizenship.

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