On March 9, Mikhail Trepashkin’s appeal will be heard by a court in Nizhny Tagil (Sverdlovsk Oblast). Trepashkin, a former FSB official who is serving a 4-year jail sentence for allegedly disclosing state secrets, and who is a witness of major importance in the Litvinenko poisoning case, has given an interview to The New Times in which he describes how the FSB proposed that he take part in the liquidation of Litvinenko. Newsru.com has published some excerpts from the interview. Asked why the special services chose such a complicated plan for eliminating Litvinenko, Trepashkin replies [my tr.]:
I think it was carelessness in the work of the agents who carried out the murder, and also the organizer’s intention to kill the agents along with Litvinenko, and also Litvinenko’s family, Berezovsky and Zakayev (while they were at it). It’s possible that the agents didn’t know about the possible consequences for themselves and the environment. I think they calculated that the cause of death would never be precisely established as polonium.(via Marius)
You can draw your own conclusions. But I will add the following. Back in 2001, when I telephoned Litvinenko in London for the first time on Shebalin’s request (on behalf of the FSB, as he explained), I asked him if he was going to write a new book, where he was working and with whom, and he replied that he had a job as a postman in the mornings. Then, some time later, Shebalin expressed the view that it would be a good thing to send him (Litvinenko) a letter containing powder. There was a lot being written about such letters in the States at the time.