Litvinenko witness denies fleeing France

13th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, Dec 13, 2006 (AFP) - A Russian man linked to events surrounding the poisoning murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko on Wednesday denied accusations in a newspaper report that he had fled his home in France.

MOSCOW, Dec 13, 2006 (AFP) - A Russian man linked to events surrounding the poisoning murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko on Wednesday denied accusations in a newspaper report that he had fled his home in France.

"I have not vanished at all, I'm still at my house and I never spoke to a journalist from the Times," Russian Yevgeny Limarev told AFP by telephone.

The British Times newspaper reported, without naming its sources, that Limarev had fled his home in the French Alps.

"I yesterday (Tuesday) met the police again to tell them about anonymous death threats," the Russian added, after telling AFP on December 7 that he feared for his life and was "ready to talk to British and Italian investigators."

Limarev declined to say whether investigators had been in touch with him.

The probe into Litvinenko's death has led from Britain to Germany and Moscow, where British detectives spent the last week.

Limarev said he gave Mario Scaramella, an Italian contact of Litvinenko, a memo accusing former Russian secret service agents of seeking to kill certain exiled Russians.

Scaramella met with Litvinenko in London the day he fell fatally ill. The Italian said they had discussed a Russian secret service hit-list on which both of their names figured.

"Mario did indeed receive information about this from my contacts and asked me if they were credible. I answered yes," Limarev earlier told AFP, confirming that the contacts were "contacts from Russia" whom he could not name.

"My name has been brought up in the case along with Litvinenko and

Scaramella," Limarev said. "And I really fear something might happen to me."

Litvinenko died on November 23 after being poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210. Scaramella also tested positive for polonium contamination but not at a deadly level.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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