Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Italian Connection

The Litvinenko poisoning affair continues to have special resonances in Italian politics. From Rivoluzione Italiana (the blog of Paolo Guzzanti) [my tr.]:

(ANSA) - ROME, Dec. 27 - “As we all know, making hypotheses about Professor Prodi’s past brings bad luck: Trofimov was killed, so was Litvinenko, and Scaramella is in jail while more crazy fabrications against me are being unfolded by the newspaper [La Repubblica] that is piloting the whole infamous framework being used to target not Scaramella, but the results of the bicameral parliamentary commission of inquiry on the Mitrokhin dossier and the Italian secret service.”

These are the words of former president of the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the Mitrokhin affair, Paolo Guzzanti, who says that “Andrea Papini is altering the truth of the facts when he asserts that I used information coming from Mario Scaramella in the election campaign, something he claims to document by citing my declaration of March 5 this year.”

“That day, in fact," - Guzzanti emphasizes - “I cited not Scaramella (whose documents originating with Litvinenko I classified as “unverifiable” by the commission because of the fact that the source of the news had been murdered) but another public and official document concerning an act of the European Parliament, namely the intervention of the British MEP Gerald Batten of April 3 2006 which asked the European Parliament to open an inquiry on the former President of the Commission Romano Prodi and his relations with the USSR. Batten said he had listened to ‘one of my constituents, Alexander Litvinenko’, who had provided ‘the same information he had already given’ to Scaramella, and which I had kept confidential. Batten’s intervention made public what I had kept secret on my own initiative, but which from April 3 onwards was not secret any more, as it concerned an act of Parliament which can also be found on the Internet.”

“In his intervention of April 3,” Guzzanti continues, “Gerald Batten said that the Russian exile who was subsequently assassinated with Polonium-210 told him: General Anatoly Trofimov, deputy head of the FSB (Russian intelligence agency) advised me not to settle in Italy, as there are many agents of the KGB among the politicians, and Romano Prodi ‘is our man there’.

“As we all know, making hypotheses about Professor Prodi’s past brings bad luck: Trofimov was killed, so was Litvinenko, and Scaramella is in jail while more crazy fabrications against me are being unfolded by the newspaper that is piloting the whole infamous framework being used to target not Scaramella, but the results of the bicameral parliamentary commission of inquiry on the Mitrokhin dossier and the Italian secret service.”

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