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Radiation found on at least two BA B767 aircraft that flew from London to Moscow

Politics / Russia Nov 29, 2006 - 02:42 PM GMT

By: John_York

Politics

In a new development in the case of the fatal poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko that strengthens the link between the murder and Moscow, according to the Home Office, traces of a radioactive substance has been found aboard two BA planes, with a third being tested. The three B767 short haul aircraft were taken out of service for forensic examination. BA said it has been advised that the risk to public health was low. But it was contacting customers who had flown on the planes.

Radiation found on at least two BA B767 aircraft that flew from London to Moscow


If this is confirmed to be polonium-210 then the Russian denial of no link at all in the face of mounting evidence would seem to harp back to the cold war era, as President Putin increasingly stifles dissent within Russia, and through actions such as this seek to distill fear in critics abroad.

Litvinenko died on 23rd November 2006, 3 weeks after becoming sick after meeting two Russians in a hotel on Nov. 1st. A few hours prior to his death the former KGB officer had told his friend Andrei Nekrasov, "I want to survive, just to show them," and. "The bastards got me but they won't get everybody." Litvinenko had made allegations of various crimes against the Russian people by the FSB (formerly KGB), including in his 2003 book- “The FSB Blows up Russia,” accusing the security service of bombing apartment houses in Moscow so the Russians could invade Chechnya again, a charge which enraged the Kremlin.

And according to his friend, Alex Goldfarb, Mr Litvinenko had described Russian president Vladmir Putin as "barbaric and ruthless". Addressing the president, the letter said: "You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life or liberty. "You may succeed in silencing one man but a howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done."

Scotland Yard's counter terrorism unit had been investigating the death, which included following a trail of radioactivity around London which today led to potentially three BA aircraft that fly the route London to Moscow.

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