Alexander Litvinenko, a fugitive officer of the Russian FSB secret service who specialized in tackling organized crime, and an MI6 informant, was investigating suspicions that Roman Abramovich, today the owner of the Chelsea soccer club, was involved in money-laundering and illegal land purchases, the UK press reported.
This and much more information about the things President Vladimir Putin’s friends have been doing abroad, was heard by a public inquiry into the death of Litvinenko which had begun in the high court in late January. The hearing comes eight years after Litvinenko was murdered in London with deadly polonium.
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According to testimony by Russian exile Boris Berezovsky, Litvinenko was investigating, among other high profile Russians, one Roman Abramovich and his good friend Vladimir Putin.
Berezovsky lost a lengthy legal battle to Abramovich in 2012. In March 2013, Berezovsky was found dead at his ex-wife’s home in Surrey. His aide Michael Cotlick told the high court on Monday that he believes Berezovsky committed suicide, after receiving many death threats..
Berezovsky told detectivess that Litvinenko “said the investigation was about the laundering of a huge amount of money belonging to Putin and Roman Abramovich.”
Berezovsky’s statement was read in the high court. He made his remarks to police in March 2007, four months after Litvinenko had been killed.
Berezovsky told police Litvinenko was probably going to cause Abramovich to be “arrested in Spain for money laundering and buying land illegally.”
Berezovsky expected Litvinenko, who was a paid confidential informant for MI6 under the code name “Martin, ” to have reported his findings to MI5 and MI6.
Berezovsky’s written statement also said Litvinenko was investigating “the purchasing of property” in the UK by Abramovich using dirty money.
Litvinenko was poisoned in November 2006 after meeting two Russians in a London hotel. The two, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, allegedly put radioactive polonium in his tea. Litvinenko died 23 days later.