Sunday, 14 February 2016
Watson: “Officially Russia continues to deny any involvement in the murder, but some will say actions speak louder than words. Andrei Lugovoy was made a member of Russia’s parliament in 2007, giving him immunity from prosecution. And just this year, President Putin awarded him with a medal, for ‘Services to the Motherland’.”
Lord Macdonald: “Mr Lugovoy is a somewhat feted figure in Russia. He became a member of the Russian parliament, he lives a very public life and he appears to be admired by some elements of the Russian state. I have to say that’s not an admiration that we shared.” [my emphasis]
Isn’t there a danger that these comments could be misconstrued? Or, alternatively, is he simply stating that ‘we’ (meaning who?) had already reached a prejudicial conclusion in regard to Andrei Lugovoy’s guilt? If so, it certainly adds weight to Lugovoy’s claim that he would be denied a fair trial.
Watson: “Lugovoy now has his own TV show – wait for it – called ‘Traitors’. He says he feels hounded, but Marina Litvinenko has no regrets.”
Marina Litvinenko: “You touched me. You touched my family. You killed my husband. You have to be responsible for this.”
Watson: “So what about the other prime suspect Dmitri Kovtun? Well, he was supposed to give evidence to the inquiry here at the Royal Courts of Justice, via video-link from Russia, but he pulled out at the last moment. The inquiry will now hear secret evidence from the intelligence services, that can only reinforce the case that this was a state-sponsored plot.”
Firstly – doesn’t the fact that the inquiry will now hear secret evidence from the intelligence services, only reinforce Russia’s charge that this Inquiry is a state-orchestrated quasi-judicial farce? But no less importantly – why is there an assumption that ‘secret evidence from the intelligence services…can only reinforce the case that this was a state-sponsored plot’?
Lord Macdonald: “I think it will alter the way that millions and millions of people around the world view Mr Putin and the Russian regime.”
Another interesting admission, bearing in mind that Sir Robert Owen’s inquiry was not due to reach any conclusions whatsoever until six months after this broadcast.
Watson: “We asked the Kremlin about all this, but received no reply. Given the weight of the open evidence, and what we know of the secret assessments being made by MI6, it’s hard to see how the inquiry will not implicate the Russian state, and how the murder of Alexander Litvinenko heralded a dangerous new era for relations with the West.”
Whatever you say, Watson.