Litvinenko Inquiry: Death of Justice in the United Kingdom

On January 21, 2015, Sir Robert Michael Owen, a High Court judge on the verge of retirement, in his inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko made the following statement.[1] “I am sure that Mr Litvinenko did not ingest the polonium 210 either by accident or to commit suicide. I am sure, rather, that he was deliberately poisoned by others. I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun placed the polonium 210 in the teapot at the Pine Bar on 1 November 2006. I am also sure they did this with the intention of poisoning Mr Litvinenko. I am sure that the two men had made an earlier attempt to poison Mr Litvinenko, also using polonium 210, at the Erinys meeting on 16 October 2006. I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun knew that they were using a deadly poison…. I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun were acting on behalf of others when they poisoned Mr Litvinenko. When Mr Lugovoy poisoned Mr Litvinenko, it is probable that he did so under the direction of the FSB…. The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin.”[2]

There is a lot of certainty and some probability in these words from the mouth of someone about to be put out to grass. Unfortunately they have not been fully masticated, or digested, before ending up in a dollop for the mainstream dung-flies to buzz around and feed on. Nevertheless he has done his job for the establishment. Without the means to analyze this absolute certainty and almost certain probability, it would be interesting to learn on what evidence the statement was based. Unfortunately it is a statement that has not been tested by a jury, just a weary old establishment judge paying homage to his masters for a lifetime of luxury. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this case. That is a massive problem for everyone now living in the United Kingdom since the introduction of new iron Acts, Acts which you might be forgiven for thinking were deliberately created for the purpose of preventing a proper inquest.

If you live in the UK, you might not have noticed how your legal rights are being eroded without challenge from your elected representatives. This inquiry is just one aspect of this erosion. The findings of the Litvinenko Inquiry may not have even have got close to the truth. And the public may never even learn the cause of Litvinenko’s death — murder, accident or some other cause. Sir Robert Owen is the second ‘coroner’ to be involved in the case. The first coroner, Andrew Reid, had failed to reach any conclusion after five years of consideration as to the cause of death. That is the purpose of an inquest — to establish cause of death. Reid focused almost exclusively on finding proof of Russian involvement in Litvinenko’s death. He clearly found none. But that was not his job anyway. It is not the purpose of an inquest to establish guilt, and taxpayers’ money was squandered in this meaningless pursuit. William Dunkerley, a business analyst who has been closely following the case says that when eventually Reid called for disclosure of MI5/MI6 documents related to the death, a scandal broke that Reid had employed his wife some years earlier, and he was taken off the case. Sir Robert Owen took over and announced that the secret documents would remain secret.[3] If they were integral to the inquest, MI5/MI6 documents should have been called for from the beginning.

To ensure these documents, and other revealing evidence from our secret services, did remain secret the inquest was abandoned and an inquiry was set up purportedly to establish guilt. What is most surprising about the findings of this deep-rooted establishment judge is that little mention is made about the shady oligarchs and mafia-type people Litvinenko associated with and did business with, including the late Boris Berezovsky. Their past has hardly been touched on by the hovering buzz-flies of the Fifth Estate in recent years. Instead Owen gives a glowing report on what good men Litvinenko and Berezovsky, were, based largely on testimony from Litvinenko’s wife Marina. No bias there then! Despite neither Berezovsky nor Litvinenko being reliable witnesses, their evidence has been used to reach a conclusion.

Other interested parties, Russia and the free press for example, have picked up on the crimes of these two men. Less than twelve months ago Ryan Dawson wrote, in an article for Russia Insider: “Alexander Litvinenko who was formerly FSB fled to the UK to avoid court prosecution in Russia, worked for a shady Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. Boris Berezovsky just so happens to be the Israeli-Russian oligarch who lives in London after fleeing the Russian judicial system for a multitude of crimes too long to list. He was on Interpol’s most wanted list. Here is the grand prize.” Dawson questions the UK narrative and scratches the surface of the colorful pasts of Berezhovsky and Litvinenko. According to Dawson, the men were gangsters who, through shady oil deals and other contracts, were closely linked to the murders of more than one person. Litvinenko was apparently involved, along with others, in many suspicious deals in which ordinary decent people do not get involved. It is not surprising that he had created so many enemies. He was, like his boss Berezovsky, an uncompromising critic of Vladimir Putin.

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On his deathbed, Alexander Litvinenko accused the Italian academic, Mario Scaramella, of poisoning him. Scaramella is a self-acclaimed expert in nuclear waste and worldwide locations of nuclear waste, and another man with a dark past. Yet his name has been left out of the equation by the press for long years while the blame-Putin diatribe has been milked till the cows come home. The inquiry mentions that Litvinenko accused Scaramella of his murder in the first statement he made regarding his illness, but Sir Robert concludes that Litvinenko’s confidence in being trained as an agent to recognize who his killer was let him down at his death. The inquiry makes it clear that Litvinenko had long been critical of Putin, citing an open letter from 1998 but does not conclude that his judgement in allegedly accusing Putin was impaired. It was only impaired with the very clear and repeated accusation against Mario Scaramella. Mr Scaramella was hospitalized in London after testing positive for polonium 210.[4] He met Litvinenko before Lugovoy and Kovtun on the same day. That is not to say that Scaramella was involved in Litvinenko’s death. That is why there should be an inquest.

Scaramella was a witness at the inquiry, but he appears to have some ties with Scotland Yard and may well have been offered immunity from prosecution to testify. He came willingly to London. Lugovoy was prepared to give evidence up until the point when the inquest was converted into an inquiry. Perhaps someone had whispered the words Hutton and whitewash in his ear. Whatever the conclusions of an inquiry, the truth is not going to get out easily. Its purpose is to obfuscate the truth, and if Owen gets away with it, he will have done a good job.

Despite there being no inquest ruling on whether Litvinenko was murdered, or any other verdict come to that, everybody in the west knows that he was killed on Putin’s orders, and Judge Robert Michael Owen has conveniently confirmed that meme — but not before a jury. For years the mainstream media put out blanket coverage of this supposed fact, to indoctrinate those who never question what our media tell us. That has continued right up to this week with a Guardian article by Luke Harding. According to The eXile, Luke Harding is a journalist with an indelible record for plagiarism.[5] Harding specializes in establishment propaganda, which stretches from the denigration of Julian Assange to all things anti-Russian or anti-Putin. He is the only known journalist to have been expelled from Russia and is still churning out the same tired old establishment pap.[6] The purpose is obviously to prepare the public for the untested conclusions of Owen’s whitewash.

The big problem for UK citizens today stems from the changes in law. When Tony Blair called for an inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, rather than an inquest, it was illegal. Instead Lord Hutton, who was just about to be put out to grass, presided over this whitewash, and there has never been an inquest into Dr Kelly’s death. Now, with the Inquiries Act 2005, an inquiry can legally replace an inquest. A High Court judge, who may not be trained in coronial law, can preside over such an inquest without a jury. This has happened in other high-profile cases like inquests into the deaths of Dodi Al Fayed, Princess Diana, and Jean Charles de Menezes. It gives a High Court judge all the powers of a coroner without necessarily having the conclusion tested. This is disturbing because conclusions like “Putin did it” do not make for sound justice — especially when that is the starting point of the inquiry.

Sir Robert Owen has given 30 days for interested parties to call for an inquest, but he believes the inquiry has covered everything an inquest would cover. This is clearly not true. An inquest is an open court, and in his inquiry there was no jury to question Sir Robert’s findings. A presumption of Putin’s guilt was the foundation upon which the inquiry was built. This is the wrong way round for justice to be seen to be done. There should be no presumption of guilt before a judge presides. In Owen’s report it says “Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovun, both of whom are wanted by the British Authorities for the murder of Mr Litvinenko, declined my invitation to give evidence to the Inquiry.”(2.17) In this one sentence, the fallibility of Owen’s inquiry is blatantly demonstrated. The public has been deprived of one of its legal safety nets: a coroner’s inquest. This basic tenet has been in existence in UK law for centuries. Because there has been no inquest, there can be no presumption that Litvinenko was murdered. Yet here is a High Court judge telling us Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovun are wanted for murder. If there had been an inquest, it would almost certainly have returned an ‘open verdict,’ as it did in the death of arch-criminal Berezovsky, Litvinenko’s friend and employer.

References

1. Ward, V., Rayner, G., and Whitehead, T. “Litvinenko Inquiry: David Cameron considers new sanctions against Russia after ‘state-sponsored murder’ of KGB spy in London.” The Telegraph, 21 January 2016.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12111812/Alexander-Litvinenko-Inquiry-murdered-Russian-spy-live.html

2. FSB: Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, or Federal Security Service; this is Russia’s state security organization since 1995 and a successor of the Soviet-era KGB.

3. Cheston, P. “Alexander Litvinenko inquiry: Details about ‘Russian poison plot’ to stay secret.” Evening Standard, 31 July 2014. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/parts-of-alexander-litvinenko-inquiry-will-be-held-in-secret-officials-rule-9640066.html

4. “‘Solemn’ burial for murdered spy.” BBC News, 7 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6216202.stm

5. Von Paulus. “Luke Harding Hacks The Exile!” The eXile, September 2007.  http://exile.ru/print.php?ARTICLE_ID=8637&IBLOCK_ID=35

6. Harding, L. “Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder.” The Guardian, 19 January 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/19/alexander-litvinenko-the-man-who-solved-his-own-murder

 

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One Response to Litvinenko Inquiry: Death of Justice in the United Kingdom

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Baldurdasche
    March 6, 2016 at 8:28 am

    And so the curtain falls – the requisite 30 gays of grace having lapsed into history, the Lord Justice told us what we had known, as gospel, all along. Putin did it.

    Let sleeping dogs lie.

    Here endeth the lesson.

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