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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Will the real President Putin please stand up

A British inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko concluded that President Putin was "probably" responsible.  In other words, they have no proof that he was.

But retired High Court Judge Sir Robert Owen, who conducted the inquiry, said that he was "sure" that two former Russian officials poisoned the 44 year old at a London hotel by putting polonium in his tea.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK had frozen the suspects' assets as punishment for the "absolutely appalling crime" but critics described his response as "weak."

Mr Litvinenko's widow Marina, who has fought a ten year battle for the truth was hoping for economic sanctions against Russia, a travel ban on Mr Putin and the expulsion of all Russian intelligence agents from Britain.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader said "These assassins trampled over British sovereignty and we cannot let this go unanswered.  Labor MP Ian Austin said "Putin is an unreconstructed KGB thug and gangster who murders his opponents in Russia and we know on the streets of London - and nothing announced today is going to make a blind bit of difference."

A BBC Panorama documetary discussed where the Russian president has stashed his staggering wealth.

President Putin was born into poverty, sharing one room in a shared apartment in St Petersberg with no hot water.

Sergei Pugachev, once a confidant of Putin who now lives in Nice said the President was "preoccupied by the issue of wealth from the start."

Pugachev told the BBC "I think for Putin, this was an important factor. We talked about it, he didn't hide it, he knew he wanted to leave office as a wealthy person.