Well as the affair of the poisoned sushi gathers apace, we have long since shot past the mere fact of being in a Bond film – with 21 people under observation in clinics, and 24 locations around London having been sealed off, we’re only one white cat and an undersea headquarters away from being in a Roger Moore Bond film.

With a postmortem of dead ex-spy turned whistleblower Litvinenko now definitely scheduled for the weekend, the whole thing is going in nine different directions at once.

Three BA jets have been grounded – they were on the Moscow-Londongrad run a few weeks ago. The UK government is now trying to trace up to 33,000 people who flew on those planes, two of which have definitely tested positive for radiation.

More than two hundred medical and other staff at the various hospitals where Litvinenko was treated are under observation.

On BBC Newsnight, a friend of Litvinenko’s, named, inevitably, Alexander Goldfarb, argued that the dosage was deliberately small, so that it would be detected – the calling card theory aired here earlier.

It was also alleged on Newsnight that Litvinenko was about to reveal the names of two other Russian businessmen involved in the power struggle between the FSB (ie KGB) and “oligarch” factions with Putin’s power base.

This gave the compere the chance to ask the following question:

“so that would mean that the radioactive poisoning occurred before he passed the information to Professor Scaramella at the sushi restaurant?”

Now, news that former Russian premier (under Yeltsin) Ygor Gaidar is very ill in Dublin with the same symptoms has put yet more spin on the whole thing, although the certainty that this was a state operation has been thrown into some doubt by news that polonium 210 – which is used as a sub-atomic heating agent – can be purchased on the internet.

FSB sponsored newspapers in Russia argue that Litvinenko was killed by the CIA – while making a dirty bomb in the labs of their client, al-Qaeda.

And I haven’t even mentioned the connection with West Ham football club…

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey