In the august setting of the House of Commons Committee Room eight in the Palace of Westminster the pair were introduced by Labour MP, Fabian Hamilton. The lecture was organised by The Henry Jackson Society: Russia Studies Centre.
In the audience was Akhmed Zakayev, the exiled Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), which is unrecognised by other countries. Litvinenko, Goldfarb and Zakayev were all employees of exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
Marina, in a black suit and white open necked shirt spoke passionately of her need for justice some five and half years after her husband’s agonizing death in University College Hospital attributed to poisoning by the radioactive isotope polonium 210.
Marina said “I need to know the truth.”
In response to my question if she had received a copy of the autopsy, or post-mortem official report, she said no, she had not received the report but expected it to be released at the inquest.
Another of my questions on behalf of BSR was directed to Alex Goldfarb. I asked him to comment on the polygraph test taken by Andrei Lugovoi in Moscow which appeared to absolve him of complicity in Mr. Litvinenko’s murder. Asked if he had directly or indirectly contributed to the death, and whether he had dealt with polonium, Lugovoi replied "no" to all questions.
"After careful analysis of all the diagrams obtained from the [polygraph] test, we have determined that the answers to these questions were not false. Thus, in our professional opinion, Andrey Lugovoy was telling the truth when answering the above questions,” members of the British Polygraph Association Bruce and Tristam Burgess said. The two experts were from the British company, UK Lie Tests which conducts the polygraph test for the popular daytime TV show, The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Goldfarb was dismissive of the polygraph tests and said, “the company has a controversial reputation. They were hired by a French media company working for the Russian government. It is part of the propaganda campaign and I don’t believe the results would be admissible to a British Court.”
In fact no polygraph tests are acceptable in British courts.
Samantha Knight, a barrister with Matrix Chambers in London asked if the Russian constitutional ban on deporting citizens to foreign courts had been part of the Constitution from the beginning and if there was any precedent for Russians being deported to face justice abroad. She was assured the clause had been incorporated in the first constitution of Russian Federation enacted in December 1993. Goldfarb said that there had been some cases of Russian citizens being deported from Russia to face justice in what he called “friendly allied countries of central Asia” but did not cite specific examples and Russian lawyers can recall no such instances although Kazakhs,Tajiks and others have been deported in recent years to their home countries.
Peter Duncan, from the University College London’s School of Slavonic Studies, said that based on the book Death of a Dissident, written by Alex Goldfarb with Marina Litvinenki, he had made a lot of enemies. “Was it not possible that Ramzan Kadyrov, President of Chechnya or Nikolai Petrushev, the former Director of the FSB could have been responsible for Lotvinenko’s death rather than Vladimir Putin as asserted in the book.
Goldfarb said “Sasha’s identification of Putin was a rhetorical statement – he had no evidence.”
The American media analyst William Dunkerley, the author of “The Phony Litvinenko Murder” has called into question the media's reportage on Litvinenko's final statement. “Who wrote it, and did Litvinenko even agree with what it said?” he asked earlier this year.
Dunkerley says “An audio clip of Litvinenko speaking just weeks before he was poisoned seems to belie that claim. The video shows there is a disparity in English language proficiency between Litvinenko's actual speech and the text of the purported deathbed statement.
“Some media reported that Litvinenko merely gave his approval to a statement someone else had prepared for him. Other reports, however, call into question whether his physical and mental condition at the time would have permitted even that.”
Until the inquest, which is expected to be held later this year, the Litvinenko case is raising as many questions as have so far been answered. A spokesman for Camden Borough Council, which has responsibility for the inquest. told BSR that it would now be presided over by a judge who they were waiting for the Ministry of Justice to appoint. The spokesman confirmed that Dr. Andrew Reid, who held a preliminary inquest hearing in October last year had been suspended in February this year.