Why is the 2006 poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko still
unsolved today? Is it likely this high-profile case may never be solved?By
Mention the Alexander Litvinenko case, and
people think of radioactive contamination. Now, though, it's looking
like the case itself has become contaminated.
Coroner's office has played a central role in the Litvinenko case. But
these days it appears to be in disarray and hiding from the public.What's
While researching my book, The Phony
, I broke the news that the Coroner never had
concluded that Litvinenko was murdered. All those media reports that
said he was are simply unfounded speculation. Details are in the book.
that inquest, Coroner Dr. Andrew Reid issued a statement that begins:
"Following the pre-inquest review held today at St Pancras Coroners
Court I would like to confirm that I am yet to provide a written ruling
to the properly interested persons and potential properly interested
persons. Therefore I have indicated my preliminary view that there
should be further investigations into the wider circumstances about
which allegations were made at the hearings today."
credible explanation has been given as to what really happened to
Litvinenko. Why didn't the Coroner wrap up the case years ago? Until
last fall, there was just dead silence from the Coroner.
first sign of life came in fall 2011. That's when the Coroner announced
that finally an inquest would be held. It took place on October 13,
2011. No, it wasn't Friday the 13th; it was a Thursday. But given all
the events that followed, it might as well have been a Friday the 13th.
It's that strange.
What did he say? The statement certainly is
not written in plain English.
Just as an aside, I ran a Fog Index
calculation on his whole statement. I publish Editors Only
a monthly for magazine editors. We often pick passages from magazines or
newspapers for Fog analysis. It is a measure of how readable copy is.
Reid's statement has a Fog Index of over 25. That number tells how many
years of formal education are needed to understand it. Shakespeare, Mark
Twain, and the Bible average around 6. Publications like Time
the Wall Street Journal
come in around 11. This article up to the
Reid quote scores about 10. At over 25, Reid's statement seems
unnecessarily complex. Was he trying to be obfuscatory?
things that can be gleaned: The inquest wasn't really an inquest. Now
Reid calls it a pre-inquest. And, allegations were made by someone
during the pre-inquest. But Reid doesn't say what they were.
goes on to textually mumble about possibly bumping the case to a higher
judicial official. Reid also suggests he's still awaiting a further
decision from the prosecutor. It's about Litvinenko's death. But he
doesn't tell more. He then says he's interested in the outcome of an
appeals court matter. It apparently involves some people connected with
the Litvinenko case. But Reid doesn't provide the who or the what.
in a Friday-the-13th-weird series of events, (1) Reid calls for MI5 and
MI6 to release secret documents about Litvinenko (January 28 - http://bit.ly/Jp21gR
(2) Reid is hospitalized for appendicitis (January 31 - http://bit.ly/J6m2LW
and (3) Reid is removed from all cases amidst surprising allegations
that he had hired his wife back in 2009 (February 9 - http://bit.ly/I29cKl
Adds Up To...
So what we have is a Coroner's office that
after five years hasn't been able to make up its mind about what
happened to Litvinenko. Then, when Coroner Reid finally gets off the
dime and calls for secret files on Litvinenko to be opened, he suddenly
is hospitalized for appendicitis. And next, without skipping a beat,
supposed dirt on him dating back three years is dug up and he's abruptly
removed from the case.
Whatever Reid had started, he wasn't going
to be allowed to finish.
After several tries at asking the
Coroner's press office to explain what really happened to Reid, no
answers were forthcoming. A journalist I know who called seeking to
interview Reid was told that he's persona non grata. Indeed!
the Coroner's office were finally to render a verdict about Litvinenko's
death, who would believe it? By its own bumbling actions, the office has
earned itself an Inspector Clouseau image. It has indeed contaminated
the Litvinenko contamination case. It's hard to imagine how the
officials could explain their way out of this one.Another
The folly of the Coroner's office isn't
the only contamination of the case, though. There's also the way in
which the media have confounded any attempt by the public to achieve an
accurate understanding of what happened.
The media story about
Alexander Litvinenko, in a nutshell, is this: Former KGB Spy Litvinenko
was murdered by Russian president Vladimir Putin who poisoned him with
But if you look for the facts behind those
allegations, you come to realize that none of that story may be true.
Indeed, it really appears to be a sheer fabrication perpetrated in the
Not one aspect of that media story has a basis in fact.The
In my research, I found evidence that Litvinenko
not work for the KGB, and
--he never was a spy.
a video short about this. It's called The Russian Spy Story Unraveled
It is a free supplement to my book, The Phony Litvinenko Murder
You can see the video here: www.OmnicomPress.com/plmv2
troubling media issue concerns who was responsible for Litvinenko's
death. First the news named Italian Mario Scaramella as the poisoner.
Then it switched to Vladimir Putin. And finally it named Andrei Lugovoi
who presumably did it on behalf of Putin.
But the media had
earlier described Lugovoi as a "foe of the Kremlin," and an "anti-Putin
crusader." Why would Putin have chosen an anti-Putin crusader to do his
dirty work? You'll never find out from the media reports. They never
sought to reconcile that conflict. That's some reporting, isn't it?
did another video, this time on that topic. It's called The Who Done It
Fraud, again, a supplement to my book. You can see the video here: www.OmnicomPress.com/plmv1
media nonsense about Litvinenko hits another low, and now it's on the
widely-reported deathbed statement. You may recall that this was a
written statement that mysteriously appeared right after Litvinenko's
death. Explosively, it named Russian president Vladimir Putin as his
But that was a real switcheroo. Earlier the media
reported that Litvinenko believed he was poisoned by Mario Scaramella.
Litvinenko disclosed that in a November 11, 2006 interview broadcast by
BBC. On American TV, Yuri Felshtinsky who co-wrote with Litvinenko a
book about terrorism in Russia, said Litvinenko told him he was sure it
was Mario Scaramella that did it.
The switcheroo first surfaced
in media reports almost a week before Litvinenko's death. They said
Litvinenko had fingered Russian president Vladimir Putin. But, the media
weren't quoting Litvinenko. Instead their source was Boris Berezovsky, a
British tycoon who is a fugitive from Russia, his former homeland. But
no media outlets seemed to have heard this directly from Litvinenko.
next shoe dropped when Litvinenko died. In the so-called deathbed
statement, Litvinenko himself spoke out to the world to accuse Putin.
Media accounts said Litvinenko dictated the statement in his own words.
But later it comes out that he didn't! The statement was written by
someone else and was passed off as something of Litvinenko's. You can
see my video on this slice of the case here: www.OmnicomPress.com/plmv3
you getting a clearer picture of just how completely contaminated this
case is?It Gets Even Stranger
Just when you think
the Litvinenko case couldn't become more contaminated, it does.
Litvinenko's brother, Maxim, challenged the media's non-fact-based
claims about polonium. This took place in an interview on Russian
. Maxim asserts that the lab tests that found polonium in
Alexander's urine were rigged. Maxim said that polonium was somehow
introduced into Litvinenko's urine specimen that went out for testing.
That would mean Litvinenko may not have died of polonium contamination.
Maxim didn't offer any facts to back up his story. So I wrote to the
Coroner's office seeking clarification: "In a recent interview Maxim
Litvinenko, brother of Alexander Litvinenko, suggests that polonium
detected in Alexander's urine was a result of deliberate contamination
of the urine bag below his bed. Does the Coroner's office have any
information that would conflict with that allegation? I'd be grateful
for your clarification. Thanks."
not have a comment on this. We are awaiting an inquest date."
another inquest? I followed up: "Thank you. When do you expect the
inquest to take place? Who will be convening it?"
coroner has appointed a legal team of solicitors and counsel. Further
hearing dates will follow and properly interested persons and media will
be notified in due course."
So Reid has been off the case
since February 9, and they're still thinking about what to do next in
this November 2006 case! Does this sound as fishy to you as it does to
me? Are they trying to hide something?
In any event, the
credibility of the Coroner's office seems to have been irreparably
damaged regarding Litvinenko. How can the case ever be solved in a way
that is believable?
What's more, there are now many entrenched
and vested interests with a stake in maintaining the illusions
perpetuated by all the nonsensical news stories. Very conspicuous
leaders in the UK and the US have taken strong positions based on those
fallacious reports. These powerful people will look mighty foolish if no
legitimate evidence is ever found and presented to support the "Putin
did it" scenario.
Is that a reason why the London Coroner's
office seems to be in such disarray? Is it why the officials seem so
unwilling to provide clear and responsive answers?
I don't know
if it is. But the whole Litvinenko case seems to have become too
contaminated by the nonsensical fantasy of the media reports and the
folly of the Coroner's office.
Together they've reduced the
matter to nothing more than a fantasy adventure with Litvinenko playing
the role of Alice in Wonderland and the Coroner's office filling in as