24 November 2006

Alexander Litvinenko - in the talons of NHS

The drama of lieutenant-colonel Litvinenko, after taking a few serpentine turns, seems to be coming to a sad conclusion.

Doctors treating the Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko said today there had been a "dramatic deterioration" in his condition overnight but dismissed as "misleading" reports that x-rays had revealed unusual objects in his digestive system. Mr Litvinenko's friend, Alex Goldfarb, said earlier: "He went into cardiac arrest and they put him on a ventilator but he is now stable. He is under sedation and they are not planning to wake him up as yet."
I really feel for the colonel, but the noises produced by the doctors are not encouraging:
In a statement, Geoff Bellingan from University College hospital confirmed there had been a "dramatic deterioration" in Mr Litvinenko's condition overnight and he was critically ill in intensive care. He said the medical team treating the 43-year-old was still unclear about the cause of his condition, despite extensive tests. But it had ruled out thallium poisoning, and thought radiation poisoning was also unlikely.
So the previous version is out of the window and on the way to the garbage bin. What now?

Meanwhile another accusing finger went into action:
Mr Gordievsky, a former KGB station head in London, who still refers to the FSB by its former name, insisted that he did not know the identity of the Russian would-be killer. But he assumed that the man was a former associate of Boris Berezovsky, the former oligarch and Yeltsin confidant, who has been granted political asylum in Britain.

The man came to London, posing as a businessman and a friend. He met Mr Litvinenko at a hotel and put poison in his tea. That was before Mr Litvinenko had lunch at a Japanese restaurant with the Italian he knew as Mario...
So who is this "businessman and a friend"? According to this source:
Litvinenko said he had two meetings on the day he first felt ill. In the morning he met at a London hotel with a Russian, identified only as Vladimir, and Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB colleague and bodyguard to tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
I thought that the plot thickens earlier. It is already thick enough to make bricks of...

Update. Unfortunately, the poison got colonel Litvinenko eventually. RIP.