What a great double act!
Litvinenko and Scaramella were a match made in heaven. Mario, the consummate conman, meets Sasha, dirt-peddler de-luxe.
If only they had known, as they sat down for lunch at a London sushi nosherie, that their meeting would launch the biggest propaganda hit on Russia since the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games.
Actually, I didn’t mind that boycott at all, since the most beautiful East German girls ever to wear swimsuits won a trunk of Olympic medals. A breast stroke on steroids was something to behold. But there’s nothing pretty about the Litvinenko case. And now, for an encore, the amazing duo have launched an Italian black op-eretta.
In Italy, the dirty tricks of Berlusconi’s Mitrokhin Commission are currently the mama of all scandals. Beleaguered Senator Paolo Guzzanti has had to set up his own blog to bat back the flack. So you can all follow, a quick historia della intrigue.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
1. On that fateful day, Litvinenko meets Scaramella for lunch, reportedly to discuss an e-mail from Russian Exile, Yevgeny Limarev. The e-mail, it is claimed, is a hit list and Litvinenko’s name is on it.
2. Litvinenko falls ill. He first accuses Scaramella of the poisoning. But Russian Exiles quickly hire a PR firm to accuse Putin instead. They then feed the story that the ‘hit list’ is of people who know too much about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. But . . .
3. An article appears in the Italian newspaper, La Republica. It is an interview with Limarev about his work with Scaramella for the Mitrokhin Commission. The Commission, headed by Senator Guzzanti, aims to discredit Romano Prodi by linking the politician to the KGB.
There is an interview with Limarev today (Nov 26) in la Republica. It is a devastating attack on Guzzanti, Scaramella and their Mitrokhin commission.4. We learn that, prior to the elections, Litivinenko, Limarev and Gordievsky meet in London to supply evidence of Prodi’s KGB links to Scaramella and Guzzanti. British MEP Gerald Batten is present and repeats the slander in the European Parliament. The Italian right makes capital of Prodi’s smear in the election but it fails to save Berlusconi from defeat.
Limarev was involved in the Scaramella scams at the behest of Litvinenko. His opinion of both Guzzanti and Scaramella is blunt: a fraudulent caper to smear prominent opposition figures. Limarev names names (published) and declares that Scaramella’s security company was run in tandem with Americans. The author of the article asserts that Limarev showed him the names of the American security companies but does not publish them. Scaramella recently asserted that he had received the notorious emails he took to London from Limarev. Limarev categorically denies any involvement with the emails.
5. Transcripts of tapped telephone calls are published in Corriere Della Sera which appear to suggest that Scaramella will even fabricate evidence to frame Prodi to the satisfaction of Guzzanti and a suspected CIA controller called Perry.
Scaramella then sought to create bogus financial transactions through San Marino that would have linked the Nomisma, a company founded by a group of people that included Prodi, to the Soviet Secret Services.
A conversation with Guzzanti and Mario is bugged three days after the call between Perry and Scaramella. Mario says that Romani Prodi was ‘cultivated by the KGB’ and cites ex-KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky (MI6) as his source. Guzzanti responds, ‘in that case he is our man?’ ‘Yes,’ replies Scaramella. ‘That’s enough. I don’t want to know anything else’, Guzzanti replies.6. Scaramella is arrested the minute he returns from London.
The prosecution’s case centres on Scaramella’s accounts to police of a plot against his life by an ex-Ukrainian KGB agent, Alexander Talik. Prosecutors suspect Scaramella may have made it all up to pressure the ex-agent to give him information, or possibly to make himself seem more credible as a parliamentary consultant. Talik, however, was convicted.After stepping off the plane in Naples on Christmas Eve, Mario is taken to jail in Rome and refused bail. No one is allowed to speak to him and the Judge declares him ‘dangerous’. His offices in Naples are raided.
But the fun is only just starting.
It transpires that the sensational interview with Limarev, published after the poisoning, actually took place a year before. Hmmm. Next up for interview in La Republica, Gordievsky calls Scaramella a ‘mental case’ and a ‘flthy liar’ and denies Mario’s version of the meeting with Gerald Batten.
Prodi is already threatening to sue anyone who repeats Batten’s slander and Guzzanti is outraged by the tapped telephone transcripts while claiming that his words have been twisted.
Litvinenko’s brother, Maxim (who has Italian residence thanks to Scaramella) now calls into question what Sasha really knew. Then Limarev suddenly retracts everything he said in the interview of the year before.
Unbelievably, Limarev now denies ever meeting Senator Guzzanti. ‘It must have been someone else with a false beard’ he claims. ‘And whatever statements I signed were in Italian so I couldn’t read them’. Like Guzzanti, he also sets up a blog with a new, revised version of the ‘truth’. Since whatever Limarev says changes from one day to the next, a blog is a good idea for him.
In short, everyone is denying everything and calling everyone else a liar.
By now, the campaign in the Italian press is unstoppable and Paolo Guzzanti is being pilloried. The Rome court even throws the press some of the dossiers seized under warrant from Scaramella’s office. Naughty! But it’s Left mafia versus Right mafia and no quarter given.
Most of all, people want to know how Scaramella was ever co-opted on the Mitrokhin commission in the first place. But according to the IHT, Mario has already scammed everyone from the United Nations to NATO.
So. What’s all this got to do with Polonium 210? Absoutely nothing. Except that if you wanted to create a false trail to bury the real crimes, it would be just the stuff.
Acknowledgements to Simona at A. J. Strata’s blog for some great Italian links and insight.
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