Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wikileaks Strikes Again - US Embassy Cables Say Vladimir Putin was Aware of Killing in 2006 in Poisoning of Russian KGB Spy

By Luke Harding and Tom Parfitt

Borrowed from the Guardian - Thank you
Alexander Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of his assassination as he lay dying. Photograph: Natasja Weitsz/Getty Images
The widow of Alexander Litvinenko said that leaked US diplomatic cables vindicated her long-standing claim that Vladimir Putin had authorised her husband's murder.

In secret conversations with the French, the top US diplomat Daniel Fried said it was unlikely Putin was not aware of the operation to poison Litvinenko with polonium, "given Putin's attention to detail".

Fried also dismissed the idea that rogue criminal elements were to blame. The Russians were behaving with "increasing self-confidence to the point of arrogance", he added, in a classified cable revealed yesterday.

In a statement to the Guardian today, Marina Litvinenko said the cable – written two weeks after her husband's death in November 2006 – confirmed her assertion this was a Kremlin-authorised operation.

She said: "There is some satisfaction in seeing what we have all known to be true documented so officially, and I would add brutally by being so matter of fact in its description. It brings me a little closer to achieving truth and justice for my late husband.

"For years we have been trying to get the authorities in the west to view my husband's murder as a state-sponsored crime. Now it appears they knew it all along."
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