Dec 29 2006
Update: Right on cue, Goldfarb speaks out for Berezovsky:
Alex Goldfarb, who runs Berezovsky’s Foundation for Civil Liberties in New York, told Reuters British police had already questioned Berezovsky and other people who knew Litvinenko.
“It is none of the Russian prosecutors’ business: this is a British investigation and Boris is fully cooperating,” Goldfarb said by telephone.
“This is clearly part of a spin control operation: they are trying to deflect attention from themselves with the different branches of the Russian authoritarian system. They are all part of the big corporation Kremlin Inc. and they are trying to get away with murder,” he said.
The PR war must be slipping for Goldfarb to react so quickly all the time. It is clear from what I am seeing that many people think Putin or Russia tried to assassinate Litvinenko. Those of us who think differently are clearly in the minority. But there must be some cracks showing up in the perception war for Goldfarb to react like this. Where does he get off claiming this is none of Russia’s business? If this is a roque operation then it is incumbent on the administration to get to the bottom of it. If it is some sort of terrorist activity aimed at Russia, then Putin and his government need to find out quickly what is going on in order to protect the people.
The fact is Berezovsky has a Polonium trail leading right to his offices. His people, Litvinenko and Lugovoi, have been poisoned by Polonium-210. Business associates of his, Scaramella and Kovtun, have been poisoned. There is no trail of Polonium leading into the Kremlin right now. It all surrounds Berezovsky and his associates. So Goldfarb sounds pathetically desparate here.
What is interesting is Berezovsky’s claim to have been questioned. When was he questioned? Was he questioned recently after all the Polonium trails over the two weeks in October were discovered leading to his friends Litvinenko and Lugovoi? Was he questioned before Lugovoi and Kovtun arranged their apparent plea deals? Still waiting to see if Berezovsky actually refuses to be questioned again by Scotland Yard. Now that would be a telling turn of events! – end update
Russian prosecutors have asked Britain to question exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky as part of the investigation into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, Interfax news agency said on Friday.
Interfax quoted an unidentified source in the prosecutor-general’s office as saying Russia had sent a request to Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service asking for Berezovsky and others to be questioned.
The ‘others’ are going to include Litvinenko’s Chechen leader friend Zakayev, and I would not be surprised if Alex Goldfarb gets caught up in this. I expect we shall see his response (for Berezovsky) in the media within the hour. It will be hard for the UK to resist the request – and I seriously doubt if this has not been coordinated between the two countries anyway. The leak was not possibly intentional, but the fact it was happening behind the scenes tells me the cooperation between Russia and the UK (and Germany and the US) is probably going along just fine.
“There is a request to carry out a series of investigative actions including the questioning of a large number of people, in particular businessman Boris Berezovsky who lives in London,” the source said, according to Interfax.
My guess the “large number of people” may include people here in the US and in many other countries, not just London or the UK. I am still not buying the ‘murder’ plot in terms of someone targetting Litvinenko. He was too marginal for the price that is clearly inherint in this incident. The problem with the leak is it may force the hand of UK authorities before they are ready to interrogate the key witnesses. Berezovsky has been hiding behind Goldfarb since the story started to drift from assassination to other theories. So we may be ready to start the critical power play with Berezovsky and his dominion.