Saturday, December 02, 2006

Spy Saga - Litvinenko's wife & friend 'contaminated'

'Contaminated' - Mario Scaramella
Further disturbing details emerged Friday in the spy saga that has dominated headlines for the last two weeks. Mario Scaramella, the contact who had informed Alexander Litvinenko of threats against his life, has tested positive for traces of Polonium 210 [BBC]. Described as ‘significant’ contamination, the Italian was said to be ‘well’ and as yet was not showing signs of illness. The news will increase concerns for others who had met with Mr Litvinenko who died on 23rd of November after ingesting the radioactive substance three weeks previously in what is believed to have been a deliberate assassination. It has also emerged that Alexander Litvinenko’s wife, Marina, has also show traces of Polonium 210 in her body [CBS].

Authorities say that both individuals are likely to survive and that there is little or no risk to the general public. However, the seriousness of the issue has warranted the government’s calling together COBRA. The emergency group has met several times since it became clear Mr Litvinenko had been poisoned with a radioactive substance.

At 13:50 GMT Saturday the BBC broke the news that an Airbus 319 Finnair plane had shown levels of radiation reading higher than permissible levels of background radiation.
The aircraft is said to have flown to Moscow from Berlin via Helsinki earlier in the month. Interfax, the Russian news agency, and the Russian ministry have confirmed the news.
On the subject of Yegor Gaidar’s poisoning few details have yet emerged but it is not believed to be connected to a radioactive substance.

No comments: