British police identify former FSB officer
as the one who poisoned Litvinenko

 The Moscow Times
A division of The International Herald Tribune

British police believe former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned by a man who flew into London on a fake EU passport and used the name Vladislav, The Times of London reported Saturday.

The suspect was captured on cameras at Heathrow Airport as he arrived from Hamburg on the same flight as Dmitry Kovtun, a businessman whom British police are also investigating in the Nov. 23 death of Litvinenko, the report said.

Vladislav is described as tall, in his early 30s, and having short, black hair and distinctive Central Asian features.

He arrived on Nov. 1 and met Litvinenko later that day at London's Millennium Hotel. Also present at the meeting were Kovtun and former security officer Andrei Lugovoi.

"Vladislav was described as someone who could help Mr. Litvinenko win a lucrative contract with a Moscow-based private security company," Oleg Gordievsky, a former KGB agent and friend of Litvinenko, told The Times.

Gordievsky said Litvinenko recalled on his sickbed that Vladislav had made him a cup of tea.

British police have said they found traces of polonium-210, the radioactive material used to poison Litvinenko, in the hotel, as well as at other locations around London that Litvinenko visited that day. German police have found polonium-210 at various places Kovtun visited in Hamburg.

British detectives questioned Kovtun and Lugovoi in Moscow in December. Both men have denied involvement in Litvinenko's death. Vladislav has vanished.

Meanwhile, businessman Boris Berezovsky said Friday that he would be willing to speak to Russian police investigating Litvinenko's death.

"I am open to answer any questions under two conditions: It must not happen in the Russian Embassy, and the people must be checked by Scotland Yard for firearms and poison," Berezovsky, a former employer of Litvinenko and a fierce critic of the Kremlin, told The Associated Press.

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said last Tuesday that he wanted to question Berezovsky about the death.