Spy's friend tests positive for Polonium 210
MSN News – December 1, 2006
The Italian academic who met former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko on the day he was allegedly poisoned has tested positive for radiation, it was disclosed today. As the post mortem examination started on the body of Mr Litvinenko, it was revealed Mario Scaramella had tested positive for a significant quantity of the deadly radioactive toxin polonium 210, sources said. He is the first person to test positive since Mr Litvinenko's death sparked a radiation alert.
A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency confirmed that a "significant quantity" had been found. Without naming Mr Scaramella specifically, he said: "The Health Protection Agency is continuing to provide expert advice on the public health issues surrounding the death of Mr Alexander Litvinenko. The Health Protection Agency can also confirm it was informed this morning that tests have established that a further person - who was in direct and very close contact with Mr Litvinenko - has a significant quantity of the radioactive isotope Polonium-210 in their body.
"This person is now to be investigated further in hospital. The Health Protection Agency continues to reassure members of the general public that the risk of having been exposed to this substance remains low. Our advice remains to members of the public that anyone who was in the Itsu restaurant or who was in The Pine Bar or the restaurant of the Millennium Hotel, on 1 November should contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. The police investigation continues. We will provide further information later today."
Last updated 02/12/2006