Sunday, April 7, 2013

RIP: Boris Berezovsky

Here's the headline found in the London Telegraph: "Assassination fears over death of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky."

Perhaps there is more than a tad of convenience in the establishment press when reporting the plausibility of murder involved in the death of Berezovsky.  After all, a primary suspect in his death would be Russian inteligence, as well as Russia's evil mastermind Vladimir Putin.  It's easier for the Western establishment to accuse Vlad of murder than point the finger at themselves or their allies, hence why similar suspicions involving the death of Hugo Chavez or Yasser Arafat are usually dismissed or suppressed.

That said, the evidence of foul play is hard to ignore.  From The Telegraph:

Berezovsky, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had long feared for his life and had survived repeated assassination attempts — although none in recent years. He had been due to be a witness at the inquest next month into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB spy who was murdered in 2006 after being poisoned by radioactive polonium-210 in what is believed to have been a Kremlin-sanctioned assassination...

The World Socialist Web Site made a great case for suspicious minds:

According to official reports, there were indications of strangulation on Berezovsky’s neck, and a scarf was found near his body. The door to the bathroom in which he was found was locked on the inside and no suicide note has been found. So far no reference has been made in any press report to any rope having been found. His body was not dangling from the ceiling, but lying on the floor. The claim that his death was “consistent with hanging” is ambiguous, to say the least...

Berezovsky was a man with many enemies and few friends. The question of who had a motive to kill Berezovsky is best answered by asking, who didn’t?

In the aftermath of the announcement of Berezovsky’s death, the press immediately began to tell a story of a man driven to depression and suicide by the loss of wealth and power. The story is largely founded upon two pieces of evidence, both dubious.

A prepared press statement from Putin’s administration was immediately released, claiming that Berezovsky had sent a hand-written note to Putin apologizing and seeking to be re-admitted to Russia. And a Russian journalist claimed that she had conducted an interview with Berezovsky the day before his suicide in which he stated that he had lost interest in life.

Given the person of Boris Berezovsky and the circumstances of this death, these statements reek of well-timed leaks and serve to deepen suspicions of foul play, rather than to allay them...

Meanwhile, The London Daily Mail presented an alternative suspect in Berezovsky's death: British intelligence:

As speculation raged on  yesterday, an adviser to Putin even claimed Mr Berezovsky may have been killed by British security services.

Using the inflammatory rhetoric of the Cold War era, Sergei Markov said the tycoon was assassinated because he knew too much about Western plots to undermine Putin and planned to trade this knowledge for a return to Russia.

Mr Markov, a former Russian politician, said: ‘I cannot say no to the version that it was a murder committed by those who were scared Boris Berezovsky would go back to Putin’s side.

Mr Markov denied speculation that a Russian hit squad could have been sent to kill Mr Berezovsky. ‘After all, there are civilised politicians in the Kremlin,’ he added. ‘They do not use the methods of political murders.’


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