Fresh theories are emerging about the poisoning of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. Reports in the British press claim he may have been planning to blackmail senior Russian spies and business figures in a bid to make tens of thousands of pounds.
“The Observer” newspaper also reports claims that Litvinenko may have had a dossier containing damaging revelations about the Kremlin and its links with the Russian oil giant Yukos.
As speculation surrounding the case intensifies, doctors treating KGB expert Mario Scaramella say he is “well.” He is believed to be showing no symptoms of radiation poisoning, although traces of toxic polonium 210 – the substance that killed Litvinenko – have been found in his body. The Italian met the ex-spy in London shortly before Litvinenko fell ill. Scaramella has said he believes both were targeted because of secrets they shared.
In another twist, British police have reportedly gone to the US to question – in conjunction with the FBI – another former KGB man, Yuri Shvets. A contact of Scaramella, it is thought he may have vital information.
Like Litvinenko, Shvets is said to have worked for Russian billionaire and former oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who lives in self-imposed exile in the UK.
A vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, Litvinenko blamed the Russian president for ordering his death. The Kremlin denies any role.
British police are reportedly planning to fly to Moscow as part of their enquiry.