Litvinenko inquiry extended to Moscow

Scotland Yard said that counter-terrorism officers would be taking their investigation into the death of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko to Moscow within the next few days.

The revelation came as one of the most senior former figures in the intelligence world appeared to point the finger of blame directly at the Russian state. As the theories continued to abound as to why and how Mr Litvinenko came to be poisoned with the deadly radioactive substance polonium-210, Metropolitan Police sources suggested nine officers would be travelling to Moscow but would not reveal who they want to interview.

Among those likely to be considered is the former Russian intelligence officer Mikhail Trepashkin, who is currently in jail for revealing secret information. In letters smuggled out of Russia last week he offered himself as a witness and claimed that a secret hit squad had been set up to target Mr Litvinenko as well as others.

Meanwhile, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, told BBC 1's Sunday AM programme: "The question you have to ask yourself, I suppose, is, 'Who has the motive and who has the capability?' There's quite a lot of people potentially, I think, who have the motive. The capability, I think, ties it much more to some organ of the Russian state. You can't buy polonium in the chemists, so it has to come from some source that's able to produce it."

Last week the Kremlin denied claims that linked President Vladimir Putin to the poisoning, insisting it was disappointed with "hysteria" in the British media.

Ten days after Mr Litvinenko's death, the investigation continued to widen as the Home Secretary, John Reid, said: "The police will follow wherever this investigation leads inside or outside of Britain. That will continue over the next few days." Mario Scaramella, the Italian academic who met Mr Litvinenko at Itsu sushi restaurant on 1 November and later tested positive for polonium-210, was said to be well and continued to show no symptoms of poisoning, University College Hospital in London said. Doctors were due to carry out fresh tests on Mr Scaramella yesterday as his lawyer, Sergio Rastrelli, conceded his client was "clearly worried" even though his dosage of polonium was far less than that which apparently killed Mr Litvinenko.

A variety of theories continued to emerge, including claims that Mr Litvinenko planned to make money blackmailing senior Russian spies and business figures. The London-based Russian academic, Julia Svetlichnaja, told The Observer: "He told me shamelessly of his blackmailing plans aimed at Russian oligarchs. "'They have got enough, why not to share? I will do it officially', he said."

It was also claimed that the fierce Kremlin critic had obtained a dossier containing damaging information about the Russian government and the break-up of the oil giant Yukos.

While police sources admitted officers had been to Washington, Scotland Yard declined to comment on reports that British detectives have interviewed the former KGB officer, Yuri Shvets, in the US over a dossier he may have compiled on issues relating to Yukos.

Leonid Nevzlin, a former shareholder of the oil giant who now lives in Israel, has claimed that a document on Yukos that Mr Litvinenko gave him may have provided a motive for someone to kill him.

Mr Litvinenko's wife Marina was found to have a very low level of polomium and her son Anatole, 12, has tested negative for the substance.

The NHS Direct phone line has now received 3,025 calls from worried members of the public. It has singled out 179 people for further investigation and referred 27 to a specialist clinic for radiological exposure tests.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Merger and Acquisition Project Manager

£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN TAWe are looking to recrui...

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis