Goldfarb: Litvinenko was Killed for What He Said, Not for What He Knew

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | December 17, 2006, Sunday // 00:00

Alexander Goldfarb, the person who read Alexander Litvinenko's pre-death letter, is the spokesperson of Litvinenko's family. Goldfarb is also the closest person to the billionaire Boris Berezovski, the one with whose oligarch money was founded the International Fund for Civic Freedoms.

Goldfarb was approached by Darik News for a short interview for the Bulgarian media, weeks after Litvinenko died from poisoning with the radioactive polonium-210.

Tsvetana Minkova from Darik News spoke to Alexander Goldfarb.

Q: What makes you think that Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned by the Russian Special Services? Is there any concrete evidence?

A: The evidence is that the radioactivity trail is from Moscow. It was clearly brought from Moscow by one of the two Russians that he met in London. It's confirmed by the German police. On top of that he was probably the number one person on the hate list of the Russian Secret Services. He had many threats, many warnings that he may be targeted and he had the benefit of knowing many people there.

Q: Threats coming from whom exactly?

A: Trepahskin, who was his friend and is now serving a prison term for his investigation in the apartment bombings in Moscow, warned him that a special group was being set and their aim was to target Litvinenko and this list that Scaramella gave him. But those are just a couple of examples only as many, many other things came. The direct statements of Russian highest leaders said that the people who are protected by the British in London, including Zakaev and Berezovski, are on the wanted list. The Russian government and parliament have given the Security Services a license to kill a few months ago by adopting a special law to target and eliminate enemies of the Regime abroad. So this taken together plus the direct evidence that the polonium being brought from Moscow gives me sufficient grounds to suspect the Secret Services. But direct truth is something that should stand in court and this is to British police to uncover.

Q: Who are the other potential targets in the list of Moscow?

A: The other potential targets are first and foremost people who live in Russia and who are critical of the regime. At the moment I think Trepashkin. I'm very, very concerned for his life because he may die in prison and nobody would know what will happen. Hodorkovski is also a potential target because at the moment he comes out of prison he would become and extremely important political figure in Russia so it would be natural for this regime to eliminate him. I'm concerned about the two witnesses or suspects - Lugovoi and Kovtun - who are now in the hands of the Russian government, which hides them in the hospital. They may disappear because they may talk. Also lots of political figures and journalists in Russia, who feel very scared by now. As far as abroad is concerned, the prime targets of Russia are Berezovski and Zakaev.

Q: What did Litvinenko tell you when he gave his pre-death letter to you? Is there anything that is not written in it?

A: The thing is that he didn't give me the letter. He dictated this letter and I took notes, because he was in intensive care and he couldn't write. On the next day I brought him a draft of what he had told me, I read it to him and he signed it with certain difficulty but he signed it. Two people were present, his wife Marina and another independent person, whose name I will not mention, but the police know. The original of the letter was taken by Scotland Yard because they take all the evidence which may have been in contact with Alexander and I'm sure they will detect radioactivity on the paper.

Q: There are claims that Litvinenko has become a scapegoat of his own trying to put pressure on oligarchs and even that Berezovski has ordered his death.

A: Those are two conflicting statements. Number one is the oligarchs. Boris Berezovski stopped being an oligarch six years ago when he escaped from Russia. Just like Hodorkovski is no longer an oligarch, but a prisoner. The real oligarchs in Russia are the people who control oil, gas, aluminum and who are essentially the same club as Putin. So it's very difficult to say where work against Putin ends and work against oligarchs begins. The widespread claim is that some of the present day Russian oligarchs, who are associated with the Kremlin or with the FSB, have joined business operations with officials in the Kremlin. So in that sense he was working against the Russian regime which is a classic oligarchy. That's one side4 of the story. The other side of the story is that Berezovski, who is not an oligarch but a leader of the political opposition in London has something to do with this. This is total absurd and part of the Kremlin's campaign to shift the blame, which perhaps could have been taken seriously if not for the discovery of polonium. And polonium is something which is not available either to Berezovski or to any private group. It is only available to somebody who has direct links to the Russian government because polonium can be produced only in nuclear labs. And if it wasn't controlled by the Russian government it would be scarier because it's a perfect material for a dirty bomb.

Q: What is written in the letters with advices to Litvinenko that you gave to Scotland Yard?

A: I didn't give anything to Scotland Yard except the original of Litvinenko's statement. If you refer to the letter of Scaramella, it's a different story. It's in the newspapers. Mario Scaramella gave him a certain letter but I am not part of it.

Q: According to you, how was the murder committed and who is the physical killer of Litvinenko?

A: At the moment I don't know who the physical killer is. Only the court can establish it. In my view the principal suspects are the three Russians who came to see Litvinenko in Millennium Hotel. Those are Lugovoi, Kovtun and Sokolenko, the three former FSB officers, who contaminated half the London, Germany and the airplanes with polonium.

Q: If you blame Russian authorities for Litvinenko's death, why did Moscow choose exactly this moment for killing him?

A: I don't know, you have to ask them. Why they killed Politkovskaya as is alleged or why they did other things? I can only guess. First of all this law which was passed only six or seven months ago, which allows Russian Security Services to conduct assassinations abroad, which makes it perfectly legal. They don't even have to ask the government to do this. Second, because I believe that now they feel particularly emboldened because of the new confidence was oil and gas. Maybe it was somehow related to the succession struggle in the Kremlin, this may mean different fractions. I don't know to tell the truth. It's only guess work.

Q: Did Litvinenko know secrets of KGB and Moscow which are connected to Bulgaria?

A: I don't know. I don't know what he knew because I don't think he was killed for any secrets. I think he was killed for what he said, and not for what he knew and didn't say. I think he was killed for his campaign and for the fact that of all the enemies of the present regime, he was probably the one whom the Secret Services considered their own traitor. The thing is that people like Berezovski for them were the enemies from day one. But they consider Litvinenko as one of them, who later turned around. That may be the reason.

Q: What is your attitude to the claims of Yegor Gaidar that behind his own poisoning stand powers which want to somehow harm Moscow?

A: Gaidar is an absolutely harmless person. As far as I know he is well. I think there's no reason to believe e was poisoned if you believe Irish doctors, who treated him. At the moment he is a very important liberal and reformist politician, he is a marginal figure, so I don't see any connection between Gaidar and Litvinenko.

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