Interview with Dmitry Suslov

Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Head of the National Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, commented for RT on the statements by the Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, on the arrests in connection with journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder.

Russia Today: Some people say that the Prosecutor General, Yury Chika, overstepped the mark in his recent statements and gave away too much information about investigation. Do you agree with that?

Dmitry Suslov: Looking strictly from the legal point of view he might have made suggestions that apply more to the political sphere rather than precisely to the legal sphere. However, from the political point of view, Chaika acted as a politician and did it really maturely. He pre-empted much criticism that was going to be used against Russia in the coming days around Politkovskaya's birthday and so on and so forth. There would have been many suggestions that the Kremlin, Kadyrov or some people within the Russian authorities were responsible for this murder. Chaika pre-empted this and thus changed the discourse. He acted quite wisely.

RT: There is an undercurrent there saying that some of this could have been be controlled from abroad. The name Boris Berezovsky possibly springs to mind then. Can you comment on those hints in the statement that Mr Berezovsky could have been behind this? What do you think about that?

D.S.: Again, it was not Chaika's precise claim but his suggestion. The motivation behind that is quite clear. I agree that Mr Berezovsky is one of those people interested in undermining Russia's current regime. We know that assassinations or troubles taking place with Russian human rights activists, opposition leaders or journalists who work in the opposition sphere are automatically strikes against the Kremlin, against Putin and the regime, and those people utilize this.

RT: Yury Chaika did though of course go on to announce that there is more evidence of corruption against Boris Berezovsky in a separate statement tagged on to it. Do you think Britain will listen to that more seriously and think more seriously about extraditing him?

D.S.: Unfortunately, I am pessimistic about that. Britain most probably will still assert that those statements by Mr Chaika were political and they will produce and trigger more irritation in Russian-British relations. Britain will probably claim that there is not enough evidence to extradite Mr Berezovsky or Mr Zakayev. We cannot exclude the latter as well in connection with the statements by Mr Chaika. I do not think this will add to the motives for extradition – quite the opposite. We should not expect it especially in the context of the Litvinenko case and Russia's unwillingness to extradite Andrey Lugovoy and all that political and legal scandal between Russia and Britain.

RT: Back to the Politkovskaya case. Yury Chaika was basically saying he has got the man that he thinks is responsible. Does that imply that this person admitted he did it?

D.S.: Most probably, but I do not think this means the end of the investigation itself. In order to complete the investigation the sponsors should be found. Keeping in mind Chaika's hints that in order to find the sponsors there is a need to question Mr Berezovsky and some other people but it is impossible so far.

RT: So, although ten people are being held right now, the web is bigger do you think?

D.S.: I am not involved in that but the answer most probably would be yes. All those political cases are extremely complicated. So I do not think we should put the full stop here.