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Anorak | Something Fishy

Something Fishy

by | 21st, November 2006

Alexander Litvinenko’s red herring…

THAT’S not Richard Hammond pictured lying in a hospital bed on the Mirror’s cover page.

The man looking deathly pale, “with dark, sunken eyes, yellowing skin and a bald head” and not looking at all well is Alexander Litvinenko.

Litvinenko is achieving no little fame as the only Russian émigré in London who isn’t an oligarch and doesn’t live in Mayfair.

He is also the 41-year-old former lieutenant-colonel in Russia’s Federal Security Service, formerly better known as the KGB. It is claimed that Litvinenko has been poisoned by President Putin’s KGB.

The Mail says Litvinenko faces a bone marrow transplant. We read that his body is producing so few of the white blood cells that maintain the immune system that any infection could kill him.

What dastardly force could have done such a thing? The Sun looks into the matter and says Litvinenko fell ill after eating sushi in a London restaurant. Is Litvinenko the victim of a rogue prawn, a bad slice of tuna sashimi, a vengeful pork gyouza? Did he overindulge on raw fish? Or is the sushi a, er, red herring?

That would be bad enough. But then where would the story be? This can be no simple tale of food poisoning. British man eats bad food is no big story. (Litvinenko claimed political asylum in 2000 and was granted British citizenship last month.) This is the story of secret agents at work.

“From Russia with Lunch,” says the

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