Litvinenko: Murder Most Foul
"May God forgive you for what you have done..."
At the age of 43, a few weeks after he secured British citizenship, former KGB and FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was murdered: the world’s first victim of polonium 210 poisoning. The Litvinenko killing revealed that London has quietly become not only the single greatest centre of Russian capital outside Moscow, but also a turbulent seat of Russian opposition.
Our special guest tonight is Alan Cowell, senior correspondent for the New York Times, based in London and Paris. Few people know more about this extraordinary subject than Alan; his book “The Terminal Spy” is the definitive work on the topic, and he continues to report on the story as it unfolds for NYTimes.com.
Alan typifies old-school journalism at its best. He was the last Reuters correspondent to file dispatches by carrier pigeon, and has covered stories in over 90 countries. He won a George Polk Award for his coverage of the broadening turmoil in South Africa that led to the end of apartheid. He was expelled from the country by the government of P.W. Botha in early 1987.
Since then, he has headed The New York Times’s bureaus in Greece, Egypt, Italy, Germany and London, where he the Nathaniel Nash Award.
Alan has written three other books: an African memoir, “Killing the Wizards”; and two novels, “A Walking Guide” and its sequel, “The Paris Correspondent”, which deals in part with the challenges of the new digital era in news gathering and reporting.