20.01.2007 – Eurasian Security Services Daily Review

Scotland Yard to not publicise Heathrow cameras’ pics of man they believe poisoned Litvinenko
Litvinenko’s film-maker friend fears returning to Russia
Finnish politicians sign open letter worried about Russian ex-security officer Trepashkin
Former Russian senator detained by security services went to Kyrgyzstan on invitation of known writer
Ukraine’s ‘security and defence’ Vice Premier speaks out on personnel issues, denies he strengthens Yanukovich
Where ex-Communist states stand on secret police files

Scotland Yard to not publicise Heathrow cameras’ pics of man they believe poisoned Litvinenko 

Oleg Gordievsky  

AIA reported a month ago that Scotland Yard investigators had some information about the possible killer of the Russian ex-security service officer Alexander Litvinenko, according to former agent of KGB in Britain Oleg Gordievsky. He told his version to Radio Liberty this week again, as AIA reported yesterday.
In today’s edition The Times of London confirms that the police have identified the man they believe may have poisoned Litvinenko. The suspected killer was captured on airport surveillance cameras at Heathrow as he flew into Britain from Hamburg on November 1 to carry out the murder, the paper says. He is described as being tall and powerfully built, in his early thirties with short, cropped black hair and distinctive Central Asian features. He reportedly travelled on the same flight as Dmitry Kovtun, a Russian businessman, one of key witnesses in the case, being investigated for trafficking the radioactive material.
The eventual hired killer arrived in London on a forged EU passport and reportedly slipped the poison into a cup of tea he made for Litvinenko in a London hotel room. Litvinenko was reportedly able to give vital details of his suspected killer in a bedside interview with detectives just days before he died on November 23 at University College Hospital, according to The Times. Oleg Gordievsky, an ex-KGB agent said that this man was believed to have used a Lithuanian or Slovak passport, and he left the country using another EU passport.
The Times notes that, according to police sources, until now it has not been revealed that Litvinenko visited a fourth-floor room at the Millennium Hotel to discuss a business deal with Kovtun and another former Russian agent, Andrei Lugovoy. The three men were joined in the room later by the mystery figure who was introduced as Vladislav, a man, who could help Litvinenko win a lucrative contract with a Moscow-based private security firm. Gordievsky told The Times yesterday that Litvinenko remembered the man making him a cup of tea. “His belief is that the water from the kettle was only lukewarm and that the polonium-210 was added, which heated the drink through radiation so he had a hot cup of tea. The poison would have showed up in a cold drink.”

Litvinenko’s film-maker friend fears returning to Russia
Andrei Nekrasov, a Russian documentary-maker and friend of the poisoned ex-security service officer Alexander Litvinenko, said yesterday that he feared for his safety after being warned “not to make anti-Russian films”, The Times reports. Nekrasov, who has just finished a documentary for BBC2, on the Litvinenko murder, said that relatives in Russia had received the threat this week from “an old friend” and he was not sure whether it was safe for him to return to his home in St.Petersburg.
Nekrasov was close to Litvinenko and visited him regularly in hospital after his poisoning. After the friend’s death he made the films My Friend Sasha: a Very Russian Murder, and How to Poison a Spy. He contributed the latter to the Panorama, on BBC1, and it will also be shown on Monday evening. The two films will anger the Kremlin, which claims that the Western media is biased against President Putin, The Times says.

Finnish politicians sign open letter worried about Russian ex-security officer Trepashkin

  Mikhail Trepashkin

Representatives of six political parties represented in the Finnish parliament and several public organizations of Finland have written an open letter to the Russian authorities, online paper Novy region reports. The letter expresses deep concern about the destiny of the political prisoner, former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Mikhail Trepashkin, 50, who is serving a prison term for ‘divulging state secrets’ in Nizhni Tagil, Sverdlovsk area of Russia.
Trepashkin suffers from a chronic, life-threatening bronchial asthma and should be translated in a medical hospital urgently, the Finns consider. Under the Russian laws the ex-officer has such right (when condemned to imprisonment in a colony-settlement), however the prison’s administration opposes such moving, contrary to opinion of independent doctors.
“We also ask that the country presiding in the European Union has provided presence of diplomatic observers at court sessions on Trepashkin’s case when they will be continued”, the letters says. The letter is signed by the parliament members from the Finnish Greens Party, Social-Democratic Party of Finland, Centre Party, the Swedish People’s Party, the Left Union and others.
Mikhail Trepashkin in 2004 was condemned by the Moscow district military court to four years of imprisonment in a colony-settlement for disclosure of state secret. According to the version of prosecution, serving in the KGB and the FSB, Trepashkin had copied confidential documents, that in the further illegally were stored at home.
Trepashkin, who had served for the state security services for more than 20 years, became widely known since his participation in November, 1998 in the press conference when the former counterintelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko and his colleagues announced about the order of the FSB leadership to participate in a plot with an aim of the billionaire Boris Berezovsky’s liquidation.

Former Russian senator detained by security services went to Kyrgyzstan on invitation of known writer
Online news agency 24.kg has obtained new details, concerning the visit to Kyrgyzstan of the former senator from Bashkortostan, Russia, who is suspected of ordering the murder of his business partner’s wife. AIA reported earlier this week that Igor Izmestyev, 40, was seized at a Kyrgyz airport by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents working with their Kyrgyz counterparts and shuttled back to Moscow. An FSB spokesman referred all inquiries to the Prosecutor General’s Office, and a spokeswoman there said she could not comment.
Izmestyev, whose capital is estimated by the Finansy magazine at $235 million, arrived to Bishkek for business negotiations on purchasing the shares of health resort Belek, belonging to the National Statistical Committee of Kyrgyzstan, 24.kg says, referring to its sources in Moscow. Other part of shares is said to be owned by the known Kyrgyz/Russian writer Chingiz Aitmatov, the former Soviet Ambassador to Luxemburg and Kyrgyz ambassador to the European Union, NATO, UNESCO and the Benelux countries. The writer spent various international actions there and has been planning to keep this practice in the future. Therefore he ostensibly also acted as the initiator of the purchase of the National Statistical Committee’s shares.
The former Russian senator arrested in Bishkek, enjoyed the writer’s favour even earlier, according to 24.kg. In the spring of 2006, Aitmatov recommended the Koros company, represented by Igor Izmestyev, as a potential investor to the government of Kyrgyzstan. It was supposed that the company would construct a large oil refining factory in this country. Izmestyev, is also suspected of tax evasion and trying to bribe an officer of the FSB, news agencies reported.

Ukraine’s ‘security and defence’ Vice Premier speaks out on personnel issues, denies he strengthens Yanukovich

Vladimir Radchenko  

Ukraine’s weekly Zerkalo nedeli writes about Vladimir Radchenko, ‘Army General, who has returned to power’. However, Radchenko has returned not to the Security Service (SBU) of Ukraine as it s chairman, as it was expected by many observers. Since recently he is a Vice Premier and his duties include coordination between the security forces and agencies and supervision of the struggle against criminality. In due time the general had headed the SBU, the Ministry of Interior and State Customs Committee, he had worked as a National Security and Defence Council Secretary, and recently given advice to SBU chairmen and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich. The paper considers one should not expect ‘sharply painted political steps’ from Radchenko. At the same time the camp of anti-Westerners in Kiev has got additional strength in his person, the weekly notes. A big question is whether the Army General would manage to concentrate attention of the country’s leadership to the necessity of solving current problems in the law enforcement and security fields, Zerkalo nedeli writes. At least, for today any Ukrainian politician involved in the teams of the President or the Prime Minister could not brag about it on the basis of professionalism, instead of personal fidelity, the weekly marks.
Prime Minister Yanukovich, who has blessed the personnel appointments in the Ministry of Interior, offensive for the society and the law enforcement personnel, has been obviously touched by the appointments made in the SBU by the presidential secretariat. According to Zerkalo nedeli, one may assume that Radchenko’s appointment is a reply to the President’s activity in the Security Service and the plans of the presidential secretariat concerning the leadership of the State Office of Public Prosecutor. The weekly underlines that it is too early to make conclusions on possible consequences of Radchenko’s appointment to the post of Vice Premier.
Asked how does he evaluate the recent mass personnel changes in the Security Service of Ukraine and in the Ministry of Interior, Radchenko agrees with the paper’s observer that as well as the majority of the servicemen of these departments, he is not quite satisfied with these replacements. The weekly comments that “absolutely odious persons have been coming back to important posts in the Ministry of Interior”.
Radchenko denies allegations that at a certain stage arrangements were reached between the President and Prime Minister, according to which Radchenko was supposed to head the SBU in exchange for Boris Tarasyuk keeping the post of the Foreign Minister. He also says the version of submitting his candidacy for the post of the SBU Chairman to the President has been not discussed. According to Radchenko, he did not have an intention to return to the SBU and he had stated it repeatedly. He says his presence in the SBU is possible only in a capacity of an adviser to the SBU Chairman, the job he had done till his new appointment.
Radchenko notes he has not emphasized, as one of the news agencies had put it, that he «will initiate political tasks for the security forces and create conditions for their performance». He says he told the members of parliament that the heads of security agencies should rather be politicians instead of professionals, as the first would more likely understand the policy of the state, and be able to put the respective tasks to the servicemen.
When Radchenko headed the SBU in the past (1995-98), from the domestic policy viewpoint, he managed to keep discharged position in many situations. The new Vice Premier says he really hopes for an establishment of mutual understanding not only between various branches of authority, the President, the government and parliament, but also between political parties, “as the country really is in a grave enough condition”.
Radchenko says he has been just a ‘free-lance’ adviser to the Prime Minister, as he officially was an adviser to the SBU Chairman. Radchenko denies the version of strengthening of Prime Minister Yanukovich’s positions owing to his appointment. He says he as not seen as far that somebody had exploited security forces in his own interests.
Radchenko denies the version of strengthening of Prime Minister Yanukovich’s positions owing to his appointment. He says he has been just a ‘free-lance’ adviser to the Prime Minister until recently, as he officially was an adviser to the SBU Chairman. He says he has not seen that somebody had exploited security forces in his own interests as far.
As a member of the group that developed new reforms, Ukraine’s new Vice Premier speaks out for the continuation of reforming the security and law enforcement agencies. “The process of reforming should not stir the work and also the performance of the most important task, to analyse all challenges to the national security today (there are many of them in different areas) and to name, proceeding from the competence framework designed by the laws, concrete tasks to put these fields in due order.”

Where ex-Communist states stand on secret police files

  Archives of Bulgarian secret service

As spying revelations from the Communist past continue to dog public figures in Central and Eastern Europe, BBC News has looked at where individual states stand on declassifying their secret police files.
In Albania, no law has been adopted on opening the secret files of the Sigurimi, the Communist-era secret police. However, in October 2006, parliament passed a resolution calling for them to be opened, however separate legislation would be needed to oblige the authorities to open the files.
In Bulgaria, in December 2006, the parliament finally passed a law to open its communist-era intelligence archives of the now-defunct Darzhavna Sigurnost. According to the law, people are allowed to see their files. A commission will also be created to investigate public figures and publish their names on the internet if found guilty. The names will appear only after these people have been informed, and they will have the right to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court before their names are published. Some files will remain classified “for national security reasons” and a separate archive will be created for those documents.
In the Czech Republic, in 2003, lists of those who co-operated with the Communist-era Czechoslovak secret police, the StB, were published. Petr Cibulka, a former dissident, had made public about 160,000 names of alleged collaborators he said he had received them from a source with access to StB records.
Slovakia began releasing thousands of StB secret files that date back as far as the mid-1950s, in November 2004.
Germany, following reunification, passed The Stasi Records Act in 1991 on opening the archives of East Germany’s secret police the Stasi. Any citizen has the right to inspect his or her personal files.
In Hungary, a 2003 law allowed individuals access to their own Communist-era secret police files, and also allowed victims to see the records of people who spied on them.
In Poland, in November 2006, President Lech Kaczynski signed a new law to open communist-era secret police files that include information on current diplomats, government ministers and members of parliament. Previously, only historians and journalists previously had access to the files, which are held by the National Remembrance Institute (IPN), set up in 1998 to prosecute Nazi and communist crimes in Poland.
Under new rules, expected to come into effect before mid-February 2007, public figures will have to apply to the IPN for a special certificate saying whether or not they collaborated. They could be fired if they are found to have worked as agents. Previously, only leading public officials were subject to vetting. It is thought that around 400,000 people will be affected by the new law.
In Romania, in 1999, the government set up a special commission, the Council for Studying Securitate Archives (CNSAS), to review millions of secret police documents. By law, the CNSAS is required to search the files for signs of collaboration among politicians and other public figures, such as civil servants and members of civil society including journalists and priests. But it was only quite recently that the council was given the relevant files by the security services. It is up to the board of the CNSAS to vote on whether an accused public figure collaborated or not. In 2005, all Securitate archives were opened to the public except those that concern national security issues.
In the former Soviet Union — apart from the Baltic states — the tendency has been to throw a veil over files kept by the Soviet secret police, the KGB. Latvia has voted to disclose the contents of KGB files containing the names of former secret police agents in March 2007, despite strong opposition from President. Lithuania’s parliament voted in October 2006 for the opening of the government’s special archive, where all KGB files are stored, to unlimited public access. In Estonia, members of the public are allowed to read KGB files kept at the national archives.
In former Yugoslavia, in 2001, Serbian citizens were allowed to look at secret files kept on them by the former state security service, the UDBA, for the first time. In November 2001, Croatia opened secret police files. In April 2003, an unapproved website appeared listing data on about 1.5 million individuals from Slovenia, taken from UDBA archives. The government sought to block access to the site.

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