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Radioactive substance link to ex-spy's associate

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Radioactive substance link to ex-spy's associate


Traces of radioactive polonium-210 have been found at the offices of an associate of poisoned ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. Two addresses in London’s Mayfair are being examined, including that of Russian exile Boris Berezovsky. Billionaire Berezovsky had regular dealings with Litvinenko, who visited the offices near Hyde Park “almost every day”, according to one source.

Berezovsky was given political asylum in London in 2001 after charges of fraud and corruption in Moscow. He is a strong critic of the Kremlin. Polonium-210 has been found in at least five locations across London, from Litvinenko’s home in Muswell Hill in the north, to Piccadilly in the centre.

The first traces discovered were in a hotel and a sushi bar where Litvinenko had met an Italian contact, Mario Scaramella. It was there that Scaramella claims to have given him a list of Russian secret service targets, on which they both appeared. He has now returned from Italy for radiation tests and is under police protection, according to British media reports. Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised a full investigation with “no diplomatic or political barriers”. A post mortem is to be carried out on Litvinenko on Friday.

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