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Killer Teapot

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  • J. Marshall Reber
    28 January 2007 KILLER TEAPOT Russian spy s cuppa spiked at posh hotel By Justin Penrose Crime Correspondent A POT full of radioactive tea was used to poison
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2007
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      28 January 2007
      Russian spy's cuppa spiked at posh hotel
      By Justin Penrose Crime Correspondent
      A POT full of radioactive tea was used to poison former Russian spy
      Alexander Litvinenko, police revealed yesterday.
      The "hot" teapot was found at London's Millennium Hotel with skyhigh
      readings of Polonium-210 - the deadly radioactive material
      used to murder the former KGB man.
      And despite a huge police investigation, the teapot wasn't found so
      it was STILL IN USE at the posh hotel in Mayfair until December 10
      - six weeks after the poisoning. Even then it had "off the chart"
      radioactivity readings.
      Health officials are bracing themselves for hundreds of calls from
      guests who may have been served tea at the Millennium, though
      last night the Health Protection Agency tried to downplay the
      blunder, saying there was no risk to public health.
      A branch of the Japanese restaurant chain Itsu, originally thought to
      be the scene of the poisoning, has now been ruled out. Detectives
      are now convinced Mr Litvinenko was poisoned after his tea was
      laced with Polonium- 210 when he met fellow former KGB men
      Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun at the hotel on November 1. He
      died 22 days later.
      It has also emerged that Mr Lugovoi has been named as the prime
      suspect for the poisoning by anti-terror police in a file passed
      to the
      Crown Prosecution Service - a claim he strenuously denied
      yesterday. Mr Lugovoi, now back in Russia, said: "This is all lies,
      provocation and government propaganda by the United Kingdom.
      They are trying to make up for their poor hand.
      "I have not received any official statements. However, if it
      happens, I
      am ready to protect my reputation in any court. There's an
      investigation going on in Russia about an attempt to kill me and
      Dmitri Kovtun and I'm co-operating with Russian police about this."
      Mr Lugovoi, 41, once a KGB bodyguard, appeared to leave a trail of
      Polonium-210 at offices and hotels around London. Traces were
      also found on board an aircraft that he travelled on. Despite the
      evidence against him, he is likely to escape prosecution because
      the Russians will not extradite him. Natalia Fyodorova of the
      Russian Prosecutor General's office, said: "A Russian citizen cannot
      be extradited to another country under the Russian constitution."
      British detectives went to Moscow to interview Mr Lugovoi and Mr
      Kovtun in December, but were only allowed to sit in on questioning
      by Russian officials.
      Officers say Mr Lugovoi has not fully co-operated and want to quiz
      him again. But Scotland Yard has been told this will only be allowed
      if a Russian team visit London to interview more than 100 people.
      Top of their witness list is exiled Russian oligarch Boris
      a good friend of Mr Litvinenko.
      ANYONE concerned they may have come into contact with Polonium-210
      should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

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