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2 Apr, 2007 03:01

Man claims to have helped in tricking British justice

Man claims to have helped in tricking British justice

Russian TV programme Vesti Nedeli has interviewed a man said to be a witness in the Litvinenko poisoning case.  The man claims he was used by Boris Berezovsky in a plot to deceive a British court.

In his interview the man, who's real name has been withheld and who was being referred to as Pyotr, says he was a witnesses of an alleged deception carried out to ensure Boris Berezovsky wasn’t extradited to Russia – and that the only other witness was Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Pyotr claims that in 2003 when Berezovsky’s extradition case was being heard by a British court, he was approached by Aleksandr Litvinenko to testify that he was a FSB agent who had been ordered to poison Boris Berezovsky.

“They needed my statement to help Boris Berezovsky during court hearings of his case, to help his lawyers to come up with a sensational statement, to strengthen his case so that he would not be extradited. This was their main goal,” the man claims.

He said he had refused to do this, but at another meeting with Litvinenko and Berezovsky’s defence he had been drugged, and his words outlining his relations with Litvinenko had been taped and edited.

According to the words of ‘Pyotr’ the tape with his forged confession had played a major role during the court hearings, as the court had received reasons to consider that Berezovsky was in danger decided to grant him with an asylum.

“Berezovsky's lawyer told me that my 'confession' was 70% of their successful appeal for political asylum. That was when I realized that they forged an audio clip,” he said.