Sunday, 14 February 2016

Watson: “We can reveal some details relating to this intelligence, and it’s clear that Alexander Litvinenko’s investigations were proving very dangerous indeed.”

[Ministry of Interior Police video, Spain]

“In November 2006 when he was dying in London, he was supposed to be in Spain, helping the Spanish authorities investigate this Russian mafia boss, Tariel Oniani. His work with Spanish intelligence, which is confirmed by today’s report, was clearly very dangerous, and we understand this was part of the secret intelligence that underpins the report’s conclusions. A very well-placed source has told Newsnight that he had video-taped evidence against Oniani that Spanish prosecutors wanted to use.”

Spanish prosecutor Jose Grinda Gonzales: “Why did we need Litvinenko? We needed him because he knew them, because he had fought against them, because he had investigated them. In particular, he had investigated Tariel Oniani in Russia.”

Watson: “Newsnight obtained this confidential document in Spain. It includes a transcript of a police interview with former Russian politician and mafia suspect himself, Mikhail Monastirski. This document reveals how the Spanish, with Litvinenko’s help, were closing in on Russian organised crime, and how they were chasing alleged links to the mafia, right up to President Putin’s door. It reads like a spy drama, but these are the real words.”

[Newsnight dramatisation]

Mikhail Monastirski: “The ones who want to kill me, might just be the ones from St Petersburg. There’s one called Kamara and he’d be quite happy if I wasn’t here. He’s hated me for a long time.”

Spanish investigator: “Who else? You said, ‘three’.”

Monastirski: “Visidi Bolansky. He’s a finisher.”

Investigator: “A killer?”

Monastirski: “He has a team of killers. The rest are just criminals. Right now Russia is run by people from the KGB of St Petersburg.”

Investigator: “So, you don’t say anything about Putin, out of caution?”

Monastirski: “It’s just politics.”

Investigator: “So you don’t say anything to avoid problems?”

Monastirski: “Yes, possibly. [inaudible]…when Putin is no longer president.”

Watson: “The man they interviewed died in a mysterious car crash in France shortly after he spoke to Spanish police. But other more personal attacks against Putin made [Litvinenko] an immediate target for assassination I understand. I’ve spoken to a source with close knowledge of inside thinking at MI6, and he tells me that Litvinenko was murdered on the orders of the Russian state - and I’m told that Putin must have known - because he crossed two distinct red lines…”

[Archive footage, Sept 1999 – as used in previous report]

News footage voice-over: “The smouldering remains of 64 apartments, torn to shreds by a massive explosion”

Watson: “This was the first. He’d alleged that Putin had authorised a secret operation to blow up apartment buildings in Moscow so he could blame Chechen terrorists and justify a new war. Russia has always denied this, but Putin was incensed.

As explained above, Watson’s insinuation that Putin was behind these terrorist atrocities is hokum, as is the suggestion that Litvinenko’s allegation “incensed” him. 

And this was the second: bizarre film of the president kissing a boy publicly led Litvinenko to make wild allegations that he was a paedophile.

'Wild allegations' indeed. One could go further and state that this inference is worthy only of the most abject and desperate-for-circulation gutter-press tabloid.

After the report’s publication there were angry denials by the Russian ambassador to London

[Footage outside Foreign Office building]

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko: “The length of time that it took to close this case in this way makes us to believe it was a whitewash of the British special services incompetence.”

PM David Cameron: “What happened was absolutely appalling, and this report confirms what we’ve always believed, and what the last Labour government believed at the time of this dreadful murder, which is; it was state-sponsored action. And that’s why the last government took the action of expelling Russian diplomats, of issuing arrest warrants, of refusing to cooperate with Russian intelligence agencies, and those measures continue. What we’ve added today rightly is further asset-freezes, writing again to the prosecuting authorities to see what more can be done.”

"Hook, line and sinker", to borrow George Galloway's phraseology (see below).

Watson: “Today’s report does not confirm the motive for murder. That’s probably covered by secret intelligence, and we’ve had to rely on our own sources for that. In Russia, the fact that one of the killers [sic] has been given a presidential medal tells you all you need to know; that a serving head of state has just been implicated in conspiracy to murder.”

In Britain, the fact that the whole ridiculous ‘slapstick comedy’ scenario involving Lugovoy and Kovtun wasn’t laughed out of court years ago is a cause for major embarrassment.

“Litvinenko’s lead-lined coffin hasn’t been ignored.”

End of Watson's second report.

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