Friday, June 1, 2007

press conference

For the press conference, which was broadcast live around the world, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun turned up twenty minutes late, ducking into the room in a circle of bodyguards from Tenth Wave, Mr. Lugovoi's company. After he had taken his seat behind a bank of microphones, Mr. Lugovoi began to read from a page of prepared remarks.

"Today I am ready to make a statement that should shed some light on the murky political history in which the British special services and their agents, Berezovsky and the deceased Litvinenko, play a lead role," he said. According to Mr. Lugovoi, last spring he met in London with Alexander Litvinenko, who told him that he had been an agent of the British special services for several years. Mr. Litvinenko purportedly brought representatives of MI6 into contact with Boris Berezovsky, who agreed to pass secret documents to British Intelligence in exchange for political asylum.

"Boris Abramovich [Berezovsky] gave the British some documents from the Russian Security Council (Mr. Berezovsky was the deputy secretary of the Security Council from October 1996 to November 1997) and also became an agent of MI6. After that, the question of being granted asylum and receiving British citizenship became nothing but a technicality," said Mr. Lugovoi.