[Dated on or around 17-11-2006. The resulting article by David Leppard appeared on 19-11-2006]
AL: So, I again put those papers back. But the most interesting thing is that he had received these documents by e-mail. Then he says, let’s eat quickly and go. He could have forwarded them to me by e-mail. So he says, let’s eat quickly and go. So, I had my food, he had his drink, and we went. He ran away, disappeared. You know, I did not understand why he had come. We did not discuss anything whatsoever. In those papers in that envelope there isn’t anything at all.
Q: Carry on. OK. So, can you tell me, he says he does not suspect the Italian.
AL: It is strange. It looked very, very strange.
Goldfarb: But you said you had bumped into some Russian as well.
AL: Well, in the street, (an older man? - not clear).
Goldfarb: Oh, I see.
Q: Does he think he has been poisoned?
AL: I think I have been poisoned. And I think doctors think the same.
Q: And does he think he was poisoned during this lunch?
AL: I don’t know. They have such resources. I know that their finances are unlimited now. I wrote about this in my book that the laboratories producing poisons are functioning, I spoke to them and they said poisons were used actively. Russian special services nowadays are actively using poisons.
AL: Of course.
Goldfarb: It can be coincidence.
[What is Goldfarb’s agenda?]
AL: Of course. It is a very severe accusation of a person. I don’t even want the name of this Italian to be mentioned.
Q: We won’t mention his name. We can’t mention his name. So it may be a coincidence. Or it may be the Italian was involved in helping other people to identify where he was. Does he think that?
Goldfarb: No, he thinks the Italian maybe has nothing to do with it at all.[?] Or maybe they could locate him through the Italian.”
Judging by his performance during the above interview, Goldfarb might also have preferred to have had a way of steering the direction in which Lauren Veevers took the following article, ‘The Litvinenko murder: Scaramella - The Italian Connection’, which appeared in The Independent on 03 December 2006:
“Mr Litvinenko accused Mr Scaramella of poisoning him from the day he first fell ill: as the Italian told me, his name was all over Russian and Chechen websites as the main suspect in the poisoning of the former FSB agent long before the story hit the British press. Mr Litvinenko retained his suspicion right up to his death. Speaking of the Itsu meeting, he said: "Mario didn't want anything, he gave me the email printouts ... I said to myself, he could have sent these emails by computer. But instead he wanted to come [all the way to London from Italy] and give them to me in person: why, and why in such a hurry? He was very nervous.””
That’s alright then, except – wasn’t there something a little bit, as it were, ‘eyebrow-raising’ about Scaramella’s behaviour that day? In any case though, as Owen points out, the contamination may have resulted from a meeting which took place at the same restaurant in the previous month, between Litvinenko, Lugovoy and Kovtun.
Watson: “So this was now an investigation into an attempted murder?”
Watson: “His white cell blood count was catastrophically low.”
Prof Amit Nathwani, UCL Cancer Institute: “He was brought to us with symptoms and signs of bone marrow failure.”