Friday, December 08, 2006

Hypothesis 3.0: A Poisoned Drink (but not Hemlock) in the Pine Bar in the Millennium Hotel

The Times Online reports the following hypothesis:
A minute quantity of polonium-210 placed in Litvinenko's glass would explain how he ingested the radioactive poison that led to his agonising death three weeks later.

The vapour that evaporated from the drink would have been inhaled by anyone in the area, with a greater concentration for his Russian companions and staff, who would have been in the bar much longer.

Investigators believe the poison cocktail was likely to have been manufactured in a guest room at the hotel, a short walk away from the US Embassy. Significant traces of polonium-210 were found in a fourth-floor room, which was occupied by a visiting Russian. Police believe that the killer may have stalked Litvinenko in London that day and had first tried to poison the ex-KGB colonel in a sushi bar. That failed but the poisoner left ample traces of the deadly radioactive isotope in the Piccadilly restaurant. Traces were also found on an Italian academic, Mario Scaramella, who was in the Itsu sushi bar. Toxicologists found polonium-210 in every place that Litvinenko visited after his drink at the hotel. It was not until he arrived home two hours later that he was violently ill.

Times Online added this tidbit:
Traces of polonium-210 has been found at Parkes Hotel, Mayfair, it was confirmed last night. It means that radiation has been found at all three hotels where Mr Lugovoy had stayed since flying to London on October 16. The Parkes was the first he stayed at.
Is it possible that Lugovoy is the victim, not of a conspiracy, but of circumstances? One wants to know: Did Lugovoy start trailing clouds of polonium 210 before he met with Litvinenko in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel? (The answer is surely out there, in the media reports. It's just that I don't have the time to look for it.)
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