with Marina Litvinenko Alex Goldfarb of the Litvinenko Justice Foundation and Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds Northeast
Wednesday 4th July 2012, 6-7pm
Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
To attend please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost six years after Alexander Litvinenko’s murder, his killers remain unpunished and the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been subjected to the full glare of public scrutiny. Litvinenko was a former FSB agent who accused Vladimir Putin of complicity in a range of crimes, including state-sponsored murder, and received political asylum in the UK in 2000. On his deathbed, Litvinenko issued a harrowing statement, accusing Vladimir Putin of direct involvement in his poisoning, saying: “You may succeed in silencing one man. But a howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.”
The full implications of Litvinenko’s assassination by the highly dangerous radioactive poison Polonium-210, and the troubling links between his alleged murderers and the Russian state, will only begin to be fully understood following the verdict of the forthcoming public inquest into Litvinenko’s death, finally granted last year.
By kind invitation of Fabian Hamilton MP, The Henry Jackson Society: Russia Studies Centre is pleased to invite you to a lecture by Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, and Alex Goldfarb, a writer and close friend of Alexander Litvinenko. They are the authors of Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB, which chronicles Litvinenko’s work, his turn against Putin and the circumstances of his murder. Marina and Alex will discuss the progress of their case, and the grave and continuing implications of this crime for national and international security and UK-Russian relations.
TIME: 6 – 7pm
DATE: Wednesday 4th July 2012
VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
To attend please RSVP to: email@example.com
Marina Litvinenko the widow of Alexander Litvinenko. Marina graduated from the Industrial Petrochemical and Gas Institute as an Economist-Engineer. In 1990 she began to teach choreography, and married Alexander Litvinenko in 1994. After Alexander fled Russia in 2000, Marina and their son Anatoly followed and received political asylum in the UK, living in London for the next six years.
On November 2006, Alexander died from radioactive Polonium-210 poisoning. Marina also suffered symptoms of radioactive poisoning. In a letter to Vladimir Putin in February 2007, Marina asked him not to interfere with the British authorities’ investigation into her husband’s poisoning and swore that she will not rest until those responsible her husband’s death are brought to justice. Marina co-authored Death of a Dissident, published in 2007, with Alex Goldfarb, and currently oversees the Litvinenko Justice Foundation.
Alex Goldfarb is an author and a long-time activist for civil liberties and human rights in Russia. Goldfarb trained as a biologist, and was active in the dissident movement under the Soviet Union. As a scientist and an activist, he headed several high-profile research and advocacy projects, including the International Foundation for Civil Liberties. Goldfarb became friends with Alexander Litvinenko in the late 1990s, and helped Litvinenko to defect from Russia in 2000. The two men remained friends until Litvinenko’s death in 2006, and during Litvinenko’s radiation sickness Goldfarb acted as unofficial spokesman to the media on Litvinenko’s behalf. He is the lead author of Death of a Dissident, published in 2007 with Marina Litvinenko, and his work has featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Moscow Times.
Fabian Hamilton MP
Good afternoon ladies and gentleman. I apologise for keeping you waiting which is owing to parliamentary business. My name is Fabian Hamilton. I am a Labour Member of Parliament. I represent part of the city of Leeds, north-east Leeds, and I believe I have chaired a number of meetings like this for the Henry Jackson Society before. I think the last one was when we had Luke Harding; some of you may have been present to hear him.
We are very privileged today to have Marina Litvinenko, who is the widow of Alexander Litvinenko. Marina graduated from the Industrial Petrochemical and Gas Institute as an economist and engineer. In 1990, she began to teach choreography, and married Alexander Litvinenko in 1994. After Alexander fled Russia in 2000, Marina and their son, Anatoly, followed and received political asylum in the UK, living in London for the next six years.
On November 2006, Alexander died from radioactive Polonium 210 poisoning. Marina also suffered symptoms of radioactive poisoning. In a letter to Vladimir Putin, in February 2007, Marina asked him not to interfere with the British authority’s investigation into her husband’s poisoning, and swore she will not rest until those responsible for her husband’s death are brought to justice. Marina co-authored Death of a Dissident, published in 2007 with Alex Goldfarb, and currently oversees The Litvinenko Justice Foundation.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we will also hear this afternoon from Alex Goldfarb, who is sitting on my right. He is an author and a long-time activist, specifically for civil liberties and human rights in Russia. Alex is a trained biologist and was active in the dissident movement under the Soviet Union. As a scientist and an activist, he headed several high profile research and advocacy projects, including the International Foundation for Civil Liberties. Goldfarb became friends with Alexander Litvinenko in the late 1990s and helped him to defect from Russia in 2000. The two men remained friends until Litvinenko’s death in 2006. During his radiation sickness, Alex Goldfarb acted as the unofficial spokesman to the media on Litvinenko’s behalf. He is the lead author of Death of a Dissident, published in 2007 with Marina, and his work is featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Moscow Times.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Marina Litvinenko.
First of all, I would like to say thank you very much for all of you for being here with us. It means for me a very important thing. It means my story, it’s not only my story, and everybody still following what happened almost six years ago here in London. And we started to go and talk about what we achieve for this almost six years. I’d be happy for what we achieve or not and what we stay in front of and how we believe or disbelieve in justice or receive justice, finally, or not. It was very difficult to divide between the two of us, me and Alex, what we are going to talk about and probably it will be more spontaneous. Of course, my speech will be more human kind of, and of course more emotional. Alex could be more technical and could provide more information. But of course after that we will be happy to answer, because I believe you have a lot of questions.
Even though it was a lot of publications in the newspapers, there are few books already published. I could say I am very happy for this because it is not only one opinion. Not only what we say and spoke about my husband, about dissident, about a person who did fight for truth, against crime, everything! It was different points of view. I am really glad everybody could read these books and make their own opinions. But I am absolutely sure that everybody just is waiting for justice and finally what is going to be.
From 2007, it’s already five years ago, we knew the name of the person who was a suspect of this crime. He was named already in May 2007, and his name Andrei Lugovoy. He was refused to extradite from Russia. It means we will never be able to have real justice here in London. What he was supposed to do? I was waiting for almost five years for a decision to call inquest, and it was not very easy to do. Because, inquest is not real justice. Every time I have this kind of two sides and two different opinions, I have to wait for real justice, and who to bring to court or another way is not wait for this real court, I need to call for inquest.
Last October, I decided to go for inquest, why? Because just few days before, it was known around the world, Putin was going to be in elections to be the next president. What does it mean for me? I have no idea Medvedev when he was a president of Russia when Lugovoy decided to extradite, of course I didn’t believe justice, but when they both Medvedev and Putin just decide one going to be a president and one is going to be a prime minister. For me, it was just like, yes, it is time to go inquest. It is time to know truth, it is time to know what happened here. Even though it is not going to be real justice, but I think many questions we still have, why and what reason? And how could this happen? Why it’s Lugovoy? And now we have another name, is it Dmitry Kovtun? It was another person in a meeting with my husband. But, we know this information through Russian newspapers, and through himself, through Kovtun, he said to Russian agency that he was named as a suspect and it was a case of extradition.
In this situation we already have two suspects, we have Lugovoy and Kovtun. And again, it makes me feel stronger and stronger that we need to know all truth about what happened here in London. And even after my decision to call inquest, I started to realise, it is a huge propaganda war against us; I mean not only against me but my friends who support me and against my family who supports me. Because the last few months in Russian media so many programmes completely untrue, saying about my husband, what happened in London, he did some smuggling of radioactive material from post-Soviet Union to London. It was another book about Sasha’s death, it was nothing at all, it wasn’t nuclear poisoning, it was not Polonium 210. I am in a position, I need to know truth. I am not in a way just like hate propaganda, just against somebody. Yes I am for truth, I am for justice, I need to know what happened. But the situation right in front of me show somebody tried to cover this. Someone did it in the opposite side, I mean in Russia, make this way in a completely different way.
And now in another sense, how I said Kovtun, another person remains a suspect, but we know this information through Russia’s side. Another thing, Lugovoy after almost five years became not a suspect from English side, he became a victim as well, after five years, a Russian investigator realised that he was poisoned too. And now he is a victim in investigation of Russia’s side. To be honest, I was asked many times to cooperation to Russian investigation and I said no, and I have a lot of reasons for this. First of all, before we escaped from Russia, Sasha was under investigation in Russian [inaudible] and he was imprisoned for nine months, and when I met prosecutors, they openly told me that it’s not because he did some crime, it is just because he went to TV, because he leads press conference when he said that there is corruption and crime and FSB, when he tried to protect country against this crime. Because he said everything now in FSB is not for protecting people, it is against people. Now we need to protect people against FSB. But, finally he imprisoned and he spent over nine months in prison. And I don’t believe in this law and this investigation, and every time I was in a position of British investigation, every time I was in cooperation with Scotland Yard, and all this news what I heard from Russia and propaganda, made me feel a little bit, I can’t say nervous, but first time I realised it’s serious for Russia as well.
And they try to make internal opinion, of course it doesn’t mean anything for British society or world society but for Russian people, it makes sense. But even when you follow the internet and follow opinions, I could say that not all Russians believe now what is said on state Russian television, because many information people can receive on the internet and their opinion is very strong and nobody believe that the government is a murderer, and that he did this. Other times they could say, why not? He was a hero. He killed person who was an enemy for Russia. It’s like, it’s different opinions. But, again, what I’m talking about? I’d like to say there are so many opinions and sometimes very wrong.
Because I am the person who was with Sasha from the first day of the poisoning to the last day of his death, I know how it happened. When I see in the newspaper, in an interview, this kind of discussion, it makes me feel very hard about this, because I know this truth, it’s not true, and I am a human, how can I feel it, all this long already. From one time short period, but from another time, along five years, every year, I have to live with this. From one side, it makes me feel very strong, because I need to know, I need to finish this. Because even inquest, [inaudible] but from another side, how long could I be able to cope with this? But I’d like to say that I am very grateful for all support from what I received, from my family, from my friends, from just people who I could meet every time. Even today what I say, all this people who are with me now, even those different opinions, because I know this case is very important, for ordinary people, for two countries: Russia and England, because it is still a big problem. Finally, it is very important for me, and one day it could be justice, it could be inquest, and you have all this truth and I believe finally many people will realise who is my husband, who was definitely a true Russia patriot, because everything single thing he did, it was for his country. Thank you very much.
Fabian Hamilton MP
Thank you very much, sir, for hosting us and to the Henry Jackson Society for having us here. It is of course remarkable that five years have passed and it is as if it happened yesterday for us. But, it appears that it is still the case of Litvinenko murder is still on the agenda of many people both politically and emotionally. And remarkably now, it has been revived in Russia, as Marina has said, it has been revived by the official propaganda which unleashed a fierce campaign. Over the past three months we had probably four prime time TV programs, each 20 minutes on average on the Litvinenko case.
They are essentially building a parallel story, which assumes that Litvinenko was involved in some sort of illicit activities and that Mr Lugovoy, as Marina said, is an innocent bystander. That is how Mr Lugovoy been contaminated with Polonium. This has obviously been connected with the inquest on the one hand and with the political upheaval on the other hand. Because as everybody knows here, Mr Putin has made a decision to break the constitution and to assume dictatorial powers through falsifying elections, and the Litvinenko case is one of his major vulnerabilities. Probably that was one of the reasons why he decided to stay on, because otherwise there was a risk that he would be answering for this murder. So he was, and we are looking forward to this inquest.
There are obviously many questions, and I am sure that people here follow the case and we are prepared to answer any questions. One thing I would like to mention in this question is the curious developments which specifically are very timely, and that is with regards Mr Putin coming or not coming to London for the Olympics. The story goes like this: he initially let it be known through leaks from his office that he is not coming to the Olympics, and he is sending Mr Medvedev instead to be the official representative of Russia at the Olympics. This happened after some members of the British Parliament, particularly Denis MacShane, came up with a motion to ask the government to tell Mr Putin he is not welcome in London. As a result of this, would believe, statement from them, recently summit meeting in Mexico, Mr Putin told Mr Cameron privately that he is still considering coming to the Olympics in private capacity to attend some judo competitions, which is his favourite sport. This thing was leaked; we are now in kind of a suspended situation.
The background of this is that all of this is immediately reported in Russia and becomes story. The question whether Putin goes or doesn’t go to London is news situation in Russia. Of course, if he doesn’t, it is kind of a minus to his public standing, because it will appear that he is afraid to come. And we are very equally waiting whether he comes, and if he comes what are the arrangements. Whether he will come secretly in the middle of the nights so that nobody has seen him, but then it could be reported back in Russia that he showed his colours at the Olympics and everything is alright and so on and so forth. This particular situation, I think is worth mentioning as far as situation goes now. I think we can do questions now.
Fabian Hamilton MP
We have a fair time for questions. If it is alright with you I’m going to take three at a time. You can answer whichever you wish. I am going to abuse my position as chair for a moment, just ask you to confirm whether Andrei Lugovoy, who is accused of your husband’s murder, is in fact an elected deputy to the Duma.
Fabian Hamilton MP
In Vladivostok I believe?
First time it was [inaudible], but this time I don’t know because it is a Liberal Democratic Party. But at least he’s not third person in a list. Because first time when he was elected, he was third name in a list, now he’s not but he’ll still be MP, yes.
Fabian Hamilton MP
And presumably that gives him some immunity from prosecution?
Just in Russia, and he’s not very happy to travel. Actually for the last five years he was not where and how we know he missed a little bit. Even before he said Russia is a great country, it is very big, if you like to go skiing, you can to go Tavistock or Sochi. If you’d like to see you, we can go to Sochi. It’s true. But probably he needs to go somewhere else and maybe he, as well, in a position to know truth, because he is another side of inquest. It’s the first time probably when it starts, it will be as off-site, but unfortunately he will not come to London.
Fabian Hamilton MP
I can’t imagine why not! But anyway, can we take questions then? I’ll take three at a time. Gentleman over here, go ahead.
I have a couple of questions. For you sir, are you satisfied with the responses of successive British governments of your party, and prior party in power, as to what’s been done in the case of a murder by a foreign power on British soil? And for Alex, my question is succinctly, what is the message is Russia trying to communicate through terrible [inaudible]?
Fabian Hamilton MP
I’ll take two more questions
Fabian Hamilton MP
May I ask if you’re asking question just to say who you are and if you represent an organisation or not?
Related question. One of the arguments that the Russian Federation has been arguing about not extraditing Lugovoy is that their constitution doesn’t permit it. Is it a position that has been added recently in the constitution or has it always been there? And is there a precedence for a Russian national being extradited.
Fabian Hamilton MP
Just answering you sir, for the question you addressed to me. Of course, I don’t think any British parliamentarian of any party will be happy until the culprits are brought to justice. The fact that it is a foreign power, any foreign power, but the fact that it is a foreign power involved is reprehensible, so I don’t think we should, any of us should be, satisfied. I don’t know what efforts behind the scenes my government or the current government have actually made because they haven’t shared those. I dare say they made extensive efforts behind the scenes through the intelligence services and through diplomatic channels. I’m not party to those. But until the culprit, the perpetrator to this crime is brought to justice, no member of this parliament will be satisfied. I hope this answers your question. Mr Goldfarb, Mrs Litvinenko, I don’t know who wants to?
It’s about what kind of a message this was intended to— well like any crime, the criminals while planning it were not expecting to be caught. So I don’t think they intended to have any message, they intended to kill Alexander. That was their intention. When they were caught red-handed for the heroic effort of the British police, and that means when Polonium-210, which is a smoking gun of a state involvement was detected, ever since it has been damage control. The message was to try to reduce it to the issue of Lugovoy and the extradition of a suspect and try to divorce it, the whole issue, from the question of state-sponsored crime, or from the question of an act of nuclear terrorism. These two aspects of the Litvinenko case have been officially been diverted, by the way, from both sides, for obvious reasons. Hopefully they will be both addressed at the inquest.
Fabian Hamilton MP
Do you want to come back, either of you, on the other question?
The cause of death? Yes?
Questioner [repeating his question]
The British officials coming out saying “Yeah, this is the cause of death of Alexander.” I mean Russians have always looking at this argument that the British officials…[inaudible]…Could you comment on that, is that true or is that an official conclusion from doctors?
How we know, extradition request was sent to Russia immediately after Lugovoy was named, it was in May 2007. It was immediately refused, and Russians say that we never ever extradite Russians abroad because this is constitution rules. How I know from British authorities, they said is it enough information to Russians to extradite a person for a crime, what was done? I can’t say was it a medical report or not, was it a poisoning of Polonium-210 or not, I can’t say this, but again what was from the British police, it was enough material to extradite a person for a crime.
And another one it was a meeting with former British Ambassador Tony Brenton, who was exactly on this period of time, I think the most difficult period, and he said, he saw this extradition case, and even then Russia said it was nothing, it was nothing at all to extradite a person. He said it is not true, it was enough material to extradite a person for this crime. But for me, it was every time poisoning of Polonium-210. I received this news before the whole world started to know about this. It was a night from 23rd November 2004, when I met for the first time this very high profile policeman from Scotland Yard, who told me we never ever had this case, we never ever knew somebody was killed by Polonium-210. They tried to tell me first just to provide my shock, probably, when it’s all this information came through TV.
So, I’ll answer your question then. There is indeed a provision of the Russian Constitution, which has always been there, as long as the constitution was there from 1991 I guess
[Voice from audience]
1993, I’m sorry, prohibiting extradition of Russian citizens to foreign countries. It has been violated several times with regards to requests coming from Russian allies from central Asian states, when they sought their dissidents to be extradited. I don’t remember which one of them, but, it has been violated and this is the, actually, official reason for the stalemate.
Now, as always in matters of foreign policy, there is a lot behind this. And there is a general lack of cooperation, this is a pretext. When John Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, at the height of the cold war, the KGB delivered Oswald file to the American Embassy on the next day, just to show this is not the end. The Russian government possible to cover this up, again, Lugovoy is not the issue; the issue is who sent Lugovoy? That’s essentially the answer to the extradition. Extradition is the lid that covers this whole murder situation. Just one more word with regard to the official death. There is of course an official death certificate with a cause of death, from the medical side in the case. It has not to be delivered to the Russian side, and again, it is the absence in their extradition request is a propaganda, so the British did exactly what is needed to request extradition according to the letter of the extradition. The question of what happened is up to the court of law to decide, it is not to be decided on the extradition level, whether Mr Lugovoy is guilty or innocent. He has to come here and— especially if he’s innocent— and to face justice.
Fabian Hamilton MP
We have four more questions.
My name is Juliana, I am a student at [inaudible] University. What is the reaction from the Russians, Russian diaspora in the UK, to this case immediately up to now?
John, from BSR website. I have two questions, one is for Marina. Have you ever received a copy of the autopsy report or is everything in a way for the inquest, which I understand will take place until the jurisdiction of a judge, and waiting for the Ministry of Justice to appoint the judge. Second question is devoted to Alex, if you could comment please on the Andrei Lugovoy lie detector test, which is conducted by British experts in Moscow and to three hours it appears to have absolved him of any complicity in Mr Litvinenko’s death, and also Mr Lugovoy’s willingness to testify to the inquest by video-length from Moscow?
There is a news report today that they found some traces of Polonium-210 on Mr Arafat’s clothes. the study was commissioned by Al-Jazeera, and the Palestinian Authority has ordered to exhume Mr Arafat. And that’s all we can say, we don’t know if it’s true. I mean, I would be more trustful if it was BBC and even more if it is CNN. In any case, it can be anything, if this is true, it immediately raises question that there is a state involvement, because Polonium, as I said, is a smoking gun for a state involvement, and so we could leave it at that. I called Mr Berezovsky today and asked him “Did you kill Arafat?” and he said “No it’s not me.” And With regard to whether it can be smoked, I don’t think so.
[Voice from the audience]
How it punctures, the smoke just punctures… [inaudible]
The decision to kill somebody with Polonium-210 in the centre of London is so outlandish by itself that you can expect anything.
The question about Russian community reaction—even today and five years ago, you can’t say is this community, Russian community, it is Russian or Russian speaking people here in London. And I could say about reactions in my circle of course, friends of mine, and people who I know, and most of it was of course support but in some kind of striking, because people realised it is not safe, it is not very safe to be here. And poisoning, of course, nobody was amazed to be poisoned radioactive material, but how it was done, for people it was quite scary, particularly for high-profile people, who are dissidents, or who are for some reason here; but for ordinary people who are supposed to be more safe here in England.
I could say, very friendly and very supportive to me. Recently I was in a meeting in one not big Russian bookshop, again about our book, because we finally released our book in Russian language, but we were very happy because it was in a lot of languages, but not Russian, because nobody was happy to publish for us in Russia. Thank you to Alex who did it through internet publishing, and it was very successful, people were very glad to read this book. It wasn’t a big audience, but it was Russian community, and I was very glad to see these people, with their questions and their support. Most of them tell me “be careful,” normal Russian people trying to protect.
About autopsy report, actually, I don’t have this report, because I think it is a part of this secret file probably, and all of this will be shown just before inquest, because we are going to sign some kind of document, non-disclosure, and this report probably in this file.
Well, what can I tell you. There is a British private lie detector, I mean holograph company, with people with controversial reputation. They usually are involved, they advertise themselves as solving domestic matrimonial disputes, and they were hired by a front media outlet working for the Russian state in Moscow; conducted this lie detector test through an interpreter, and made this conclusion that Mr Lugovoy is not innocent. As far as I am concerned, it is a part of this propaganda war waged in advance of the inquest. I should also say that, lie detector tests are not admissible in British courts.
Question 7: Caroline Dalmeny, Associate Director at the Henry Jackson Society
First of all, I’d like to thank you Mrs Litvinenko for bringing such a powerful testimony and statement, and possibly very painful but very meaningful in such political freedom. Secondly, I have a question concerning the improved intelligence and police relationships since the murder of Gorbuntsov, and does that have any implications for your husband’s case?
My name is Elisa, an interested Russian citizen. I cannot begin to imagine as to what you might feel, you have our sympathy and that you have a family. I don’t want to cover the past, but if you can share with us, what your son wants to do when he grows up and what you see through yourself, hopefully after the court can give you some closure, how do you see yourself in the future?
[Inaudible]… Thank you for your book Death of a Dissident, which I have been very interested in it. I still find some questions unanswered. It seems that your husband made a lot of enemies in Russia and in Moscow, and above all the [inaudible], and you have other unexplained deaths [inaudible]. Do you have evidence that could back up who really is behind this death? I know on his deathbed that thus it could it not have been [inaudible]; could it not have been head of the FSB, or other people from the FSB? You worked on this, I am sure you might have some ideas perhaps some evidence.
I would say about Gorbuntsov, of course when it happened, I received a call from a journalist to comment on this. To be honest, there is not any connection between these two cases. It is only a kind of case that my husband was killed, and this person was just…
I was wondering if the improved police and security relationship might have implications for the investigation of your husband’s murder in terms of Anglo-Russian cooperation?
I know they still have cooperation at the level of police, but they have any cooperation on the level of FSB and security service till now and they refuse it until the case of Litvinenko is done, because you can’t cooperate with people who you can’t trust. But, these two cases for me, it is quite different, because it was a different reason for my husband and the family of Gorbuntsov escaping Russia.
Who is behind it? Well, Russia is a murderous place. People get murdered all the time, and so none of this, many of these murders, is unsolved until this day. Some of them are political and some of them are less political… [Inaudible]… Reasons why we believe that this is Mr Putin? Or put it in the words of Wikileaks of American Ambassador in Moscow, that it couldn’t have happened without his knowledge, it is just the logic and common sense. There is no direct evidence.
When Sasha said that it was Putin on his deathbed, it was a rhetorical statement. He didn’t have any evidence and he didn’t even know that he was dying of Polonium, because Polonium was discovered when he was already in [inaudible]. So it doesn’t have any evidential. Although he was absolutely sure that it couldn’t have happened with Putin knowing. The reasons why we think it is Putin are three: nobody could have gotten access to Polonium without government authorisation. It should have been interdepartmental authorisation, because Polonium is produced in the atomic energy establishment and it should have been somehow transferred to the FSB. The other is that Andrei Lugovoy has no motive. Everything we know about Lugovoy is that he wouldn’t even think of doing this for money or under pressure, he would have done it only after having convinced himself that it is coming from the top. He is very rich and secure, he knows how to deal with this professionally, and he wouldn’t have done it for any other reason, even for tons of money.
It’s a question made a lot of enemies. But to be honest, from what Sasha said, already more than six years ago, now we can read Russian internet, everything that he blamed Putin for and what he blamed FSB for, people openly say it on the internet. All these protests and meetings on the streets of Moscow, St Petersburg, and it became more and more in other cities of Russia, shows people are not afraid to say what they think. Of course, it is not big protest or have big change now, but it is never going to go back to what it was two years ago. Can you imagine two years ago, when people say “Putin we don’t like you anymore?” But it has happened.
But again, when I received information from Russian internet, not from English, from Russian internet, I say “Sasha said this,” and he tried to prevent it when he said it about corruption and FSB. In his book, in his Russian edition book, my interview about… [inaudible]… he said this in his interview in…[inaudible]… but I don’t like to say nobody believed him, but it wasn’t time to hear him, but now it has happened. I believe Russia is in a new time now. Putin can control his government, he can’t control mind of the people now. It’s a new era for Russians.
When everything that happened, first five days it was difficult time, because I didn’t know what would happen to me because I was waiting for tests. It was fear for my son to lose his parents. When I received the news that I am ok, I am not going to die right now, anyway I have my son’s future, I decided to have my son as close as possible. I don’t know if it is right or not. But now he is 18, he is a good boy, he finished school, and he will take a gap year, because he is between Computer Science or doing English Literature because he is very fluent in English and Russian. He only recovered after what happened to him, because when he lost his father he was 12-years old. Any age is difficult, but 12-years for a boy is very difficult. You never know what way you go. But, God save us and our friends. I don’t have any idea to leave this country, because it is difficult to stay in London to pass the same streets, to go through this Millennium Hotel. But I am ok now. I can be in this place and that place. What I do remember about Sasha is very positive. I think what he did do for all of us, one day many people will realise.
Fabian Hamilton MP
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen we really have run out of time, these committee rooms are booked on the hour, so we have to end this meeting there. But I just would like to pay, on behalf of all of you I’m sure, to your bravery Marina, to your continued campaign, and I hope I speak for all of us and my fellow members of Parliament in saying we will support you in any way we can, and you are not alone. And thank you so much to Alex Goldfarb as well for being with us. Thank you.
[END OF TRANSCRIPT]