"EXCLUSIVE: Town Hall Stunned by $1M Bill to Hold Inquest into Death of Poisoned Former KGB Agent," shouted the lead headline in a recent Camden New Journal. Camden is a tiny borough, a constituent part of London. One million pounds, or about $1.5 million, would be its share of what's expected to be a yearlong inquest into Alexander Litvinenko's death. Borough leaders fear the cost of the Litvinenko case will take money away from important public services and school repairs.
But the newspaper's story missed the real headline here: No official certification has ever been issued as to the cause and manner of death. So it's not certain his death was a homicide or that it was polonium that killed him.
That means Camden's money will go to determine who did it before it has even been concluded what was done! That's the big story here. Why would anyone want to pay such a high price for that kind of nonsense? What's more, if the coroner were to finally issue a verdict on who or what was responsible for the death after these five and a half long years, who would believe it? There have been too many suspicious circumstances.
--Why has it taken so long?
--What's really behind the fate of former coroner Andrew Reid? Just last January, he finally asked MI5/MI6 to release information about the Litvinenko case. Then he was reportedly hospitalized for appendicitis. Soon thereafter, he was removed from all cases amidst surprising allegations that he had hired his wife back in 2009. Why is that just coming up now?
--Remember also the notorious deathbed accusation that Vladimir Putin was behind the poisoning. It turns out it was written by someone else and misrepresented to be Litvinenko's own words.
The Camden New Journal even reported that in 2008 that someone tried to burn down the hospital building in which Litvinenko had been treated. Sniffer dogs discovered three "fire accelerators" planted in the basement. How weird is that?
It's hard to imagine how this case can ever be solved satisfactorily. But it looks like someone will be footing the $7 million bill for continuing the nonsense.
I detail yet more of the nonsense surrounding the Litvinenko case in my book, "The Phony Litvinenko Murder."
William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant based in New Britain, CT. He works extensively with media organizations in Russia and other post-communist countries, and has advised government leaders on strategies for building press (more...
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