Dec 28 2006
There is a new suspect in the Litvinenko incident – a Russian who travelled with Kovtun from Hamburg to London on November 1st and met up with Kovtun in London later that day. And now the admitting this incident is associated with smuggling of Polonium-210 into London
Detectives investigating the murder of Alexander Litvinenko are trying to trace a Russian businessman who flew to Britain at the same time as a consignment of deadly polonium-210 was allegedly smuggled into London.
The man was spotted on a flight from Hamburg sitting beside Dimtri Kovtun, another Russian whom German police are investigating for trafficking the radioactive material used to poison the former KGB spy.
Officers have studied CCTV footage from airports at Hamburg and London and are understood to believe that the two men were travelling together. However, the mystery figure disappeared after leaving Heathrow with Mr Kovtun. The name he used on the flight and the passport presented to immigration officials does not show up on any hotel register in the capital. It is believed that he met up again with Mr Kovtun in London on November 1, the day Litvinenko fell ill.
I can only repeat the facts. The dosage of Polonium-210 that killed Litvinenko was smaller than a grain of salt. There were evidentally three ‘consignments’ of Polonium-210 smuggled into London on Oct 16th, Oct 25th and Oct 31st-Nov 1st. It is incredibly doubtful the Polonium trail reported to date reflects even a fraction of one ‘consignment’, even if each one was the size of a sugar packet. So we have to assume there is more Polonium still to be found.
The fact auhtorities are giving out this information is interesting. It could mean they are on the trail of people that Lugovoi and Kovtun tipped authorities towards. If Kovtun and Lugovoi did enter into plea agreements, which seems reasonable, then who was this mystery man? My guess is they do not know, but he would be associated with the owner of the material being smuggled. If Lugovoi was heading up the smuggling itself, this person would be the eyes and ears of the person whose goods were being smuggled. And that person may be associated with Litvinenko or Berezovsky.
I find it interesting there is no record of this person in any hotels. That implies the man has a home and may be a resident of London or the surrounding area. He could be one of the thousands of Russian exiles in the UK. But it definitely seems leads were provided by Kovtun:
German police are puzzled why no polonium-210 was found on the Germanwings flight that Mr Kovtun and the mystery Russian travelled on to London.
Actually, the answer is quite obvious. It is possible the man with Kovtun contaminated him as they sat next to each other, or as the departed at the airport. There are a myriad of scenarios that could work. Including an effort to plant evidence on Kovtun as a diversion. But it seems the Polonium-210 took two independent paths to London:
The British team is reportedly still seeking more information from Mr Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy, his business partner. Polonium-210 was discovered on two British flights on which Mr Lugovoy travelled to London in October. On October 25, he took BA 875 and stayed at the Sheraton Park Lane. Radiation was found at both locations. It was also found on BA 872, which Mr Lugovoy took on October 31, and at the Millenium Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, where he and Mr Kovtun stayed and where they entertained Litvinenko.
Was it one consignment or two then? Clearly Lugovoi was contaminated on his two trips, and apparently on Oct 16th when he contaminated the Park Lane hotel.
Experts also isolated traces at a third hotel, the Parkes in Knightsbridge, where both men stayed during another trip to London from October 16 to 18 when they flew on Transaero, the Russian carrier.
The more trails the more Polonium that entered the UK in October.