Dec 6, 2006

Litvinenko Investigation Takes Orwellian Turn

The Izvestiya crazy train rolls on, implying yesterday that Litvinenko’s death resulted from the former spy's attempts to make a "dirty" bomb -- an operation financed by none other than Boris Berezovsky. This expose follows on the heals of previous reports in state-run media that Anna Politkovskaya’s friends and family had her assassinated in order to – inexplicably – prompt an Orange Revolution in Russia.

Meanwhile, the state-controlled Cuban press (yes, they too have weighed in on the story) theorizes that “the West” poisoned Litvinenko in order to discredit Russia in advance of Putin’s high-profile trip to Germany, France and Finland.

Yet this week's most interesting, if expected developemnt, was Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika [pictured] and his textbook display of Orwellian double speak. At a news conference, Chaika offered to do "everything in his power to assist British counterparts in their investigation," while simultaneously prohibiting them from conducting their own interviews with suspects, closing the door on all extraditions to England, and denying their request to speak with Mikhail Trepashkin, and former spy who is currently serving time for divulging "state secrets." Trepashkin claims to have information pertinent to the case.

In a sign of Chaika's "any and all" spirit of cooperation with British detectives, the Prosecutor-General likewise denied their request to speak with Litvinenko's associate Andrei Lugovoy. It seems that Lugovoy is currently hospitalized in Moscow after possible exposure to Polonium at London's Millennium Hotel. "If the doctors allow it ... he will be questioned without fail," Chaika said. The Russian doctors have yet to allow it, for health reasons.

If this is “assistance,” Eternal Remont will need to redifine "obstruction."

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