Former KGB Spy Poisoned at Sushi Barposted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/20/2006 07:10:00 AM
A former Russian spy who is fighting for his life in a London hospital after being poisoned with the toxic metal thallium was targeted because he was an "enemy of Vladimir Putin", friends said yesterday.
Doctors treating Alexander Litvinenko, who defected to Britain six years ago, believe he has a 50/50 chance of survival and faces a critical three weeks, according to the exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who visited Mr Litvinenko in hospital at the weekend.
Scotland Yard has launched an inquiry into the "suspicious poisoning" of the former KGB officer, which allegedly took place at a sushi bar in Piccadilly, west London, at the beginning of the month. Mr Litvinenko had been meeting a contact offering him information about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist and critic of the Kremlin who was assassinated in October.
Thallium attacks the central nervous system by displacing potassium, which is vital for nerves to function. A quarter of a teaspoon is a fatal dose for an adult.
What do the chefs at Itsu have to say about their sushi?
Itsu's operations director, Glenn Edwards, said: "Its James Bond territory, isn't it? It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon three weeks ago, and two individuals sitting in the corner wouldn't have been noticed - our shop at Piccadilly serves 8,000 people a week - we've no idea what could have happened between them." Associates say Mr Litvinenko, 43 and described as a fit man, has been unable to eat for nearly three weeks because his stomach and tongue were affected by the poisoning. Mr Goldfarb, who visited him yesterday, said: "He looks like a cancer patient who has undergone heavy chemotherapy. He's lost his hair, his eyes are bloodshot and he can't speak properly."
Itsu looks like a very hip bar. Bring your wallt. Lunch for two will set you back 45 pounds.