Mario Scaramella

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Mario Scaramella

Mario Scaramella (born April 23, 1970<ref></ref>) is an Italian lawyer, academic, and security consultant who came to international prominence in 2006 in connection with the poisoning of the ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko. He served as an investigator and adviser to the controversial Mitrokhin Commission set up by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party in order to investigate supposed links between Berlusconi's political rivals, including his rival for the premiership (now Prime Minister) Romano Prodi and the KGB. Scaramella is alleged to have collaborated with the president of the commission Paolo Guzzanti in garnering false evidence to link Prodi with the KGB <ref>Così la Mitrokhin indagava su Prodi, Corriere della Sera, November 30, 2006</ref> <ref>Mitrokhin, la magistratura indaga, l'Udc prende le distanze, L'Unità, December 1, 2006</ref>. Prodi has said he intends to sue over the allegations <ref>"Prodi takes action on KGB 'smear'", BBC, 2006-12-01. Retrieved on 2006-12-02.</ref><ref name = "lawsuit">Barber, Tony. "Prodi to sue over allegations of KGB links", Financial Times, 2006-12-01. Retrieved on 2006-12-02.</ref>.


[edit] Career

Scaramella was born in Naples on April 23, 1970, and still lives in the city.

According to his own resume, between 1996 and 2000 he served as a professor of environmental law at the Externado University and the University of Nuestra Senora del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia. He also held a post in environmental crime at the University of Naples. The Evening Standard, who interviewed Scaramella,<ref>"Sushi bar man is nuclear waste expert".</ref> however say they have not been able to confirm any part of his academic career. According to a former member of the controversial Mitrokhin Commission to which Scaramella was a consultant (2002–2006), he provided different university references when requested on different occasions.<ref name=Unit>L'Unità, december 1 2006.</ref>

Until 2006 Scaramella was best known for a memo claiming that Soviet submarine K-8 left 20 nuclear mines in the Bay of Naples in 1970.

Between 2000 and 2002 he was secretary general of the Naples based Environmental Crime Prevention Programme. One of his few public appearances was in 2002 at a security related conference, giving a lecture on "special anti-terror technologies".<ref></ref>

From 2003 to 2006 he worked for the Italian Parliament's Mitrokhin Commission investigating KGB activity in Italy. Several Italian newspapers have reported interceptions of telephone calls between the president of the commission, Paolo Guzzanti, a member of ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, and Mario Scaramella (on November 30, 2006 in Corriere della Sera<ref>Così la Mitrokhin indagava su Prodi, Corriere della Sera, November 30, 2006</ref> and on December 1, 2006 in L'Unità <ref>Mitrokhin, la magistratura indaga, l'Udc prende le distanze, L'Unità, December 1, 2006</ref>). In the interceptions, Guzzanti declared that the Mitrokhin Commission's unstated goal was to depict Romano Prodi as tied to the KGB, and financed by Moscow in order to discredit him. Scaramella, according to the interceptions, was to collect false witnesses among KGB refugees in Europe to support this aim. Mitrokhin Commission was shut down in 2006 without any concrete result provided, a new parliamentary comission institued to investigate about it.

Scaramella is currently under investigation by the Italian justice department for illegal weapons trade.<ref>"Mitrokhin, spunta il traffico d'armi Sospettato il consulente di Guzzanti", La Repubblica, November 29 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. (in Italian)</ref><ref>Scaramella's reply on L'Espresso</ref>

[edit] Poisoning

On November 1, 2006 Scaramella met with the ex-Russian FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko for lunch at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, London. Scaramella has stated he ate nothing and drank only water at the restaurant. On December 1 2006 he was taken to University College Hospital,<ref></ref> and it was confirmed that he has been exposed to Polonium-210, the substance which is thought to have been eaten by Alexander Litvinenko at the aforementioned lunch, and which killed him.<ref>"Spy man positive radiation test", BBC News, December 1 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-01.</ref> Although Scaramella initially denied having the substance in his body, his lawyer made a statement on the same day saying that they would make no comment until the results of the tests were finalised.<ref></ref> A room at Ashdown Park Hotel, in Sussex, where Scaramella is thought to have stayed whilst in the U.K. has been sealed off due to possible contamination.

Some news outlets have speculated that Scaramella may have been Litvinenko's assassin.<ref>"Tracce di polonio su due aerei British Airways Un amico della spia uccisa accusa Scaramella", La Repubblica, November 29 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. (in Italian)</ref>

On December 3 Italian Senator Paolo Guzzanti was quoted after speaking with Scaramella by phone, saying health officials had told Scaramella the dose of polonium he had received is usually fatal.

"They also said so far, nobody could ever survive this poison, so it is very unlikely he could. But, if he doesn't collapse in three months, there is a kind of hope ... They said that every six months ... the radioactivity decreases by half," he told Reuters.<ref>"UPDATE 5-Russian spy contact says poisoned over shared secrets", Reuters, December 2, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Notes


[edit] External links

pl:Mario Scaramella fi:Mario Scaramella it:Mario Scaramella fr:Mario Scaramella

Mario Scaramella

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