Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Justice?

After stumbling into a whole lot of Russian conspiracies last month for a column in Bookslut, I've been following the developing investigation into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. CNN is reporting that British officials have decided to charge Andrei Lugovoi with the murder of Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning.

Among his myriad other pursuits, Litvinenko was engaged in investigating the murder of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovaka. She took four bullets in the elevator of her Moscow apartment in October of 2006. The gunman left the Makarov pistol behind.

Not surprisingly, the Russians are reticent to turn Lugovoi over.

Here's a nice wrap-up of who's who in the case as well.

A documentary about Litvinenko's life will screen at Cannes this week.

These were Litvinenko's last public words.

"...as I lie here I can distinctly hear the beating of wings of the angel of death. I may be able to give him the slip but I have to say my legs do not run as fast as I would like. I think, therefore, that this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition.

You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed.

You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value.

You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women.

You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people."

Far stranger and more disturbing than any spy novel. There's a lot of things going on here but justice is not one of them.

UPDATE: Whoops. A witness puts Andrei Lugovoy in Picadilly Circus on October 12 of last year. Curiouser and curiouser

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