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Jamestown on Litvinenko / appartment bombings, Berezovsky (-JRL)

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  • Norbert Strade
    Johnson s Russia List #4617 3 November 2000 davidjohnson@erols.com Jamestown Foundation Monitor November 2, 2000 DOES LITVINENKO KNOW WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3 4:03 AM
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      Johnson's Russia List
      3 November 2000

      Jamestown Foundation Monitor
      November 2, 2000

      Litvinenko, a former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer, has asked for
      political asylum in Great Britain. Litvinenko reportedly made the request
      yesterday after arriving in London with his wife and infant child. Litvinenko
      gained notoriety back in 1998, when he and several other FSB officers accused
      Yevgeny Khokholkov, former chief of the FSB's anti-organized crime department,
      and his deputy Aleksandr Kamyshnikov, of ordering them to murder Boris
      Berezovsky in late 1997. Litvinenko, whose ties to Berezovsky go back to 1994,
      when he helped investigate an attempt to assassinate the tycoon, was
      subsequently tossed out of the FSB. Berezovsky, after becoming Commonwealth of
      Independent States executive secretary, appointed Litvinenko as an adviser on
      CIS security questions (see the Monitor, November 18, 1998, and March 29,

      Litvinenko said yesterday that he had requested political asylum in Great
      Britain on the basis of "ceaseless persecution by the Russian special
      services." He claimed that he, his wife and child had been threatened, and that
      he had asked the Prosecutor General's Office several times to protect his
      family, but had received no answer. His lawyer was quoted as saying that
      Litvinenko "fears for his life also because he knows about a lot of things,
      including the explosions of the apartment buildings in Moscow last year" (NTV,
      November 1). Some reports in the Russian media have suggested that Russia's
      special services were behind those terrorist attacks, which killed several
      hundred people and served as the pretext for the war in Chechnya.

      The charges made by Litvinenko and his fellow officers in 1998 concerning the
      alleged plot to assassinate Berezovsky came several days after the tycoon
      published an open letter to then FSB Director Vladimir Putin. In that letter,
      Berezovsky charged that FSB officials had been involved in murders, kidnappings
      and extortion, and that hardline elements in the FSB were conspiring with
      hardline communists to revive the Soviet system. Putin reacted angrily to
      Berezovsky's open letter, saying that the FSB would not get involved in
      "political games." Indeed, it should be noted that while Berezovsky, Litvinenko
      and the other pro-Berezovsky FSB officers charged that top-level FSB officials
      had been involved in crimes, other FSB officers charged that Litvinenko and his
      associates were guilty of the same thing (see the Monitor, November 18, 1998,
      and March 29, 1999).
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