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December 25, 2006

Italian Nuke Expert Scaramella Arrested For... Arms Trafficking And Slander

The NYT headlines it, misleadingly, Italy Makes Arrest in Spys Poisoning, but damned if I can find a charge, or even a suggestion, he was Litvenenko's poisoner.

NYT link, but worth it, sort of, if you really care about this story. Even parts of the story that don't seem to have any bearing on the story.

n Italian who met with an ex-KGB agent the day the Russian fell fatally ill from radiation poisoning was arrested on Sunday, the man's father said.

The accusations against Mario Scaramella -- international arms trafficking and slander -- were not believed to be directly related to the investigation into the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko.

Scaramella, who is the first person connected to the poisoning case to be arrested, met Litvinenko at a London sushi bar on Nov. 1, the day the former KGB agent fell ill. Litvinenko died of poisoning from radioactive polonium-210 on Nov. 23.

The Italian's father, Amedeo Scaramella, said his son was arrested in Naples after returning from London. Rome prosecutors have accused him of international arms trafficking and slander, and he was being taken to Rome, according to his father.

Scaramella said he showed Litvinenko e-mails at the Nov. 1 meeting from a confidential source identifying the possible killers of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya and listing other potential targets for assassination -- including himself and Litvinenko.

...

Scaramella has been gathering information for Italian Sen. Paolo Guzzanti -- the former chair of a parliamentary commission that examined cases of past KGB infiltration in Italy. Guzzanti said the Italian accusations against Scaramella appeared unrelated to the poisoning.

Guzzanti said Scaramella told him Saturday that he was likely to be arrested upon his return to Italy.

''I told him to stay there for Christmas, but he said to me, 'no, I have no intention of appearing like a fugitive,' '' Guzzanti said.

Patsy?


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posted by Ace at 04:06 PM

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