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Friday, January 26, 2007

Murder Solved

Well, it looks like the Litvinenko murder mystery has been solved and as ABC News is reporting the British have concluded that it was a badly botched state sponsored operation. They have recovered a tea pot that was used to administer the Polonium-210 poison by Lugovoi the ex-KGB agent who was hired by the FSB to do the job. It was a Putin ordered hit and all traces lead to him.

Below is the story.

"ABC News Exclusive: Murder in a Teapot

January 26, 2007 12:11 PM

Brian Ross and Maddy Sauer Report:

British officials say police have cracked the murder-by-poison case of former spy Alexander Litvinenko, including the discovery of a "hot" teapot at London's Millennium Hotel with an off-the-charts reading for Polonium-210, the radioactive material used in the killing.

A senior official tells ABC News the "hot" teapot remained in use at the hotel for several weeks after Litvinenko's death before being tested in the second week of December. The official said investigators were embarrassed at the oversight.

The official says investigators have concluded, based on forensic evidence and intelligence reports, that the murder was a "state-sponsored" assassination orchestrated by Russian security services.

Officials say Russian FSB intelligence considered the murder to have been badly bungled because it took more than one attempt to administer the poison. The Russian officials did not expect the source of the poisoning to be discovered, according to intelligence reports.

Russian officials continue to deny any involvement in the murder and have said they would deny any extradition requests for suspects in the case.

Sources say police intend to seek charges against a former Russian spy, Andrei Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko on Nov. 1, the day officials believe the lethal dose was administered in the Millennium Hotel teapot.

Lugovoi steadfastly denied any involvement in the murder at a Moscow news conference and at a session with Scotland Yard detectives. Russian security police were present when the British questioned Lugovoi, and British officials do not think they received honest answers from him.

British health officials say some 128 people were discovered to have had "probable contact" with Polonium-210, including at least eight hotel staff members and one guest.

None of these individuals has yet displayed symptoms of radiation poisoning, and only 13 individuals of the 128 tested at a level for which there is any known long-term health concern, officials said.

The Millennium Hotel has closed the Pine Bar and other areas where Litvinenko and Lugovoi met on Nov. l, although the hotel says the remaining public areas "have been officially declared safe" and are open to the public.

Watch World News With Charles Gibson tonight for more
on this report."

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