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tv   All the Presidents Men Revisited  MSNBC  June 25, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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press. >> you can see more end game in post game sponsored by boeing on the meet the press facebook page. facebook more americans watch nbc news than any other news organization in the world. they are mysteries triggering international man hunts for very powerful persons of interest. now we are on their trail. tonight. >> he said, quote, the master has got me. >> he was once a kgb agent but turned into a critic of russia when he was poisoned in london and made headlines. a lethal toxin in a cup of tea.
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>> almost a tiny bomb. >> why was he killed? to unravel the mystery we follow the tale of a dark conspiracy. >> are you frightened for your life. we'll meet and confront the prime suspect. >> did you put it in the tea. >> now is the danger coming closer? >> one man said shoot him. an attack on the expert. i know it can happen here because it happened to my husband. >> date line the real black list. good evening. i'm richard engel. the word kremlin literally means a fortress in the middle of a city. for hundreds of years this fortress has been a seat of power and a center of intrigue. tonight we will examine the case of a former russian agent named alexander litvinenko.
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what happened to him and why have been mysteries. litvinenko lived where everyone was playing a game and where access to information could make you a very rich man or a dead one. a former russian agent poisoned. a multimillionaire found dead in his bathroom. an investigative reporter executed in front of her home ft their lives had been interconnected but what about their deaths? random acts or as some suspect part of an international murder conspiracy that stretches across two continents and several world capitols. tonight we'll investigate who wanted them dead and why. the case will take us from
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moscow to rome to london into a world of spies and spy catchers of corruption and those who dare to expose it. a world in which murder happens often. >> was there a hit list in mind? >> i'm sure there was. >> but our story begins closer to home on a late winter evening an intelligence analyst was driving to his house just outside washington, d.c. it was quiet and dark. >> i got in my car. two men waiting in the bushes. they jumped me. one man i fought with and we ended up on the ground in a tussle. and this one man said to someone else i didn't see, shoot him. so i covered my heart with my arms and turned to the side and
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a shot went through me. >> oneshot? >> one shot and then i heard the click. >> another click? >> and nothing happened. >> so you are shot once. you are rolling to protect yourself. >> i hear a chamber to clear it. it has gone jammed. at that point in time the lights went on in my house. >> his wife elizabeth heard the commotion. >> i heard a shot. that flipped me out. i knew it was a gunshot. i knew it was a gunshot and i knew it was close. >> she opened the door and saw her husband. >> he is wear ag rain coat, a suit, a hat. and he is doubled over. you can see that he is in pain and he looks as me and says i have been shot. >> the assailant had had fled. elizabeth got him inside and called 911. >> as soon as that 911 call was
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done asked my son to lift my legs up because i wanted to make sure that most of the blood. >> stays in the body. >> so you don't lose consciousness. >> elizabeth is a registered nurse. her training kicked in. >> there were no signs of external bleeding at that point so that kind of freaked me out. as a nurse i know if it is not bleeding on the outside it is bleeding on the inside. >> reporter: an ambulance arrived and rushed him to the hospital. the .9 millimeter bullet had torn through his bladder and intestines. they had to place him in a drug induced coma to save his life. he was unconscious for a month. local law enforcement initially assumed the shooting was a botched robbery but elizabeth believed otherwise. >> i didn't want to seem like this crazy conspiracy theory woman but i knew that it was not a carjacking.
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there is just no way that it was just some random guy. it had to have been a planned attack. >> because nothing was stolen and the assailants had clearly been lying in wait which is why when he came stumbling into the house with a bullet wound he told his wife to call his business partner, a former russian spy master. >> i warned him i was shot. >> if you are warning your russian business partner that you have been shot you clearly didn't think this was a botched robbery carjacking. you thought this was related to your work, related to your russian connections. >> i don't think there is doubt. >> someone had tried to kill him just like the other guy in london. >> the other guy, a former kgb agent and friend killed three
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months earlier in london, assassinated with a weapon so frightening and exotic investigators almost missed it. a weapon that raised the specter of state sponsored murder. coming up -- we trace the steps of a mysterious attack from bus to bar to death bed. >> he was going to unspeakable torment. >> where scotland yard can only hope the victim will live long enough to help solve his own murder. when date line the real black list continues.
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♪ we don't know why and who was behind it. >> american intelligence expert eventually recovered in january
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2015 he travelled with us to london to tell us the story of what happened to an important contact of his just a few months before he was shot. >> he was a law enforcement officer. worked for the equivalent of the fbi. >> in anticorruption. anticorruption is what he was most interested in. >> his name was alexander litvinenko, sasha to his friends. his interest in fighting corruption had made him a lot of enemies including in his own agency, the kgb which was renamed the fsb. litvinenko was forced to flee russia with his wife and son and seek asylum in london where he caught attention of agents of british intelligence service. glen more harvey was retired analyst who was asked to
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befriend litvinenko. the british wanted to find out what he knew about his former colleagues in the russian secret services. >> it was of great interest to us to know who these people were. so naturally he was debriefed to talk about any of his russian contacts that came in. >> was he credible? >> yes, he was. >> credible enough that mi 6 began paying him a monthly salary, trading information for money was one way for a former russian agent to make a living in his new home in london. then suddenly in 2006 litvinenko who had always been fit and healthy got very sick. >> it was just incredibly strong and heavy sickness just suddenly and not stopping. >> litvinenko's wife, maria,
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watched him waste away in a matter of just days. >> it was awful. his hair started to fall out and he started to look like cancer patient treated by chemotherapy. >> i knew he was going through unspeakable torment. >> finally they found in his blood he might be poisoned. >> poison. doctors suspected maybe he ingested thallium commonly found in rat poison and treatable with an an dote. now all under control and he will be safe. >> but it wasn't under control.
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the ant dote didn't work. litvinenko got worse. before long even close friends could barely recognize him. >> at some point i said why should this be happening to this young, healthy, handsome athletic man? what is going on? >> he is fighting for his life. >> a fight litvinenko would lose. >> we are sorry to announce that alexander litvinenko died at university college hospital at 9:21 on the 23rd of november 2006. >> but in the days just before his death litvinenko did something remarkable. he knew he was dying and decided to help scotland yard detectives solve his murder. he gave them a series of death bed interviews. the transcripts provide a remarkably detailed account of his movements on the day he was poisoned.
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litvinenko's account starts at 10:00 a.m. when he received a phone call from an italian contact who just arrived in london and insisted he needed to meet litvinenko immediately. he said he had urgent news. they agreed to meet that afternoon. at 12:29 litvinenko caught this bus to the ation. from there h took a subway to central london. this is the statue in pick d. this is where litvinenko met. litvinenko liked to meet all of his contacts here in a wide open area with many entrances and exits. he would sit back and watch to see if people were being followed. at 3:10 p.m. litvinenko and scaramela were spotted walking west. they came to this sushi restaurant itsu where litvinenko
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ate lunch. scaramela said he wasn't hungry. litvinenko and scaramela parted ways after lunch. at 3:48 litvinenko was taught on a security camera talking on his cell phone. litvinenko walked about a mile to his hotel. it is that modern looking building. this is one of the most secure neighborhoods in all of london. one security camera recorded litvinenko arriving in the lobby at 3:59 p.m. he was there to meet another former fsb agent seen here wearing a black leather jacket. lugavoy had his own security consulting firm. they had been talking about doing some business together in london. the two had met several times over the past year. this time he brought along a buddy, the one in the black
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aturtle neck. litvinenko drank just half a cup of tea and then left. around 5:00 p.m. he caught a ride home. that night he fell ill. and three weeks later he was dead. so who slipped litvinenko poison that day putting his murder into motion? litvinenko told scotland yard detectives before he died he didn't know when or who had poisoned him but he had no doubt that one or more of the men he had met that day, the two russians or the italian was his killer. naturally we wanted to talk to all three. coming up -- we track down the first suspect litvinenko named. >> are you frightened for your life? >> when date line the real blacklist continues.
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i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated... and it puts me at higher risk of stroke. that would be devastating. i had to learn all i could to help protect myself. once i got the facts, my doctor and i chose xarelto®. xarelto®... to help keep me protected. once-daily xarelto®, a latest-generation blood thinner... ...significantly lowers the risk of stroke in people with afib not caused by a heart valve problem. it has similar effectiveness to warfarin. xarelto® works differently. warfarin interferes with at least 6 blood-clotting factors. xarelto® is selective, targeting just one critical factor interacting with less of your body's natural blood-clotting function. for afib patients well-managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® compares in reducing the risk of stroke. don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor, as this may increase risk of stroke. while taking, you may bruise more easily, or take longer for bleeding to stop. it may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you've had spinal anesthesia, watch for back pain
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or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures... ...and before starting xarelto®-about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. it's important to learn all you can... help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know™. alexander litvinenko, the
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former russian agent died without knowing what killed him. the results from a battery of tests came in too late but they did come in. it turned out he was killed by something far more lethal than common rat poison. >> it's pilonium. the news shocked the world even though most people weren't sure what it was but paul joil knew what it was that his friend effectively burned to death from radio activity. >> it is a horrible death. it is a gruesome death. he lived longer than any man normally would under those circumstances. and he lived just long enough within 12 hours long enough for
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them to finally determine that it was polonium versus something else. >> why if he died 12 hours earlier would it have made difference? >> they wouldn't have found out. he would have been put in the ground. it would have been just a mystery. unknown. turn the page. move on. >> it's a key of his murder. polonium 210 was discovered and we know sasha was killed by polonium 210. >> it's an almost perfect murder weapon. polonium has no smell, little taste and without specialized equipment is undetectable. >> if you are not looking particularly for polonium you are not able to discover it. it could be everywhere but you don't know this. >> the amount that killed litvinenko slipped into something he ate or drank was no longer than a grain of salt but
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is still 1,000 times the legal dose. that tiny amount of polonium would have been enormously expensive. >> $8 million to $12 million. >> who could get hold of such an expense ive weapon and how did they deliver the fatal dose? when detectives went step by step with litvinenko he named three potential suspects. the two russians and the italian. the first one we found was the italian. >> so now in rome we are going to see mario scaramela. he has been a hard man to pin down. first he wanted to meet us in naples and then new york and then london and finally we will meet him in rome. we are ready to find out why he
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has been so skittish. he is a lawyer, academic, security analyst and someone litvinenko never completely trusted. scaramela is the contact litvinenko met at the sushi bar on the day he was poisoned. >> litvinenko thought you poisoned him. >> yes. >> you didn't poison him? >> absolutely not. >> from his perspective it does make sense. >> the thing is very strange. >> scaramela had been working for the italian government and sometimes used litvinenko as a source for investigations into the russian mob and spy rings. >> he was giving you names of russian mafia members who were connected to the intelligence service. >> exactly. >> something that was sure to upset both the mobsteres and the fsb. scaramela told us that in october 2006 the month before litvinenko was poisoned he began
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receiving frightening e-mails. the final message arrived on the very day of his last meeting with litvinenko. >> and what did that message say? >> look. there are people ready to kill you. >> the e-mails amounted to a hit list. the next name up. >> alexander. >> as in litvinenko. scaramela says that's why he met with litvinenko in london to tell him about the hit list to warn him. he says litvinenko didn't buy it. >> he said mario don't care about that. >> he says it is bs. >> i think it is -- please check what is happening. >> after what happened to litvinenko scaramela says he takes the hit list seriously. >> are you frightened for your life? >> well, do you have another question? >> scotland yard questions scaramela and eventually cleared him. why? because if you are looking for it polonium is traceable.
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using specialized equipment investigators were able to track it in people and in places. >> once polonium 210 had been identified then across europe like the slime from a slug all the way across polonium was popping up everywhere. >> but not in scaramela. no polonium in his body or anywhere he had been. so scotland yard took a hard look at the two russians. when detectives retraced their steps they found polonium contamination everywhere. >> we see the same finger prints of the polonium in multiple places where they were. >> business offices, hotels, a hookah bar, a strip club, a soccer stadium and the millennium hotel's pine bar is where investigators hit the jackpot.
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these 3 d graphics put together by scotland yard show the entire pine bar was contaminated with polonium with extreme hot spots on a table and chair and levels found inside this tea pot off the charts. paul wonders how many people were unwhitingly exposed. >> do we know ultimately what the final cost of this use of polonium is? someone who was washing dishes in the pine bar or in a hotel cleaning crew, do we know ultimately? >> five months after litvinenko's death scotland yard issued an arrest warrant. the two responded with a press conference in moscow stating their innocence. >> russia refused to extradite them so we travelled to moscow to find the men who were wanted in connection with litvinenko's murder.
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coming up, the stakes get even higher as we confront a top russian official. >> he had been speaking out aggressively against russian officials for years. how is it that all of this evidence doesn't point to russia? >> when dateline the real blacklist continuesism yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. so you can get business done. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection.
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. your hour's top stories. tomorrow thunderstorm last day before the supreme court adjourns for the summer. a decision is expected on whether to hear arguments on president trump's travel ban. it blocks visas for citizens from six muslim majority countries for 90 days. the white house argues the ban is necessary for national security. a developing story in southern california. firefighters are battling a wildfire burned an 800 acres area so far.
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♪ in the dead of winter 2015 we arrived in moscow in an effort to find out not only who killed former russian agent alexander litvinenko but why. this is home to andre lugavoi hunted by scotland yard and interpoll. around the world they were villains in a tale of international intrigue and murder. here in russia we found plenty of people who thought if the two did kill litvinenko he probably had it coming. >> thank you very much for talking to us. >> in russia's parliament the pugnacious leader of the ultranationalist party has nothing but disdain for litvinenko. >> who needs this little petty person. he was just a piece of rubbish.
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>> we were told here in russia litvinenko made plenty of enemies going back years. back in the 1990s russia was in chaos after the collapse of the soviet union. it was a time when enormous fortunes were create skpd outrageous crimes committed sometimes by the very people sent to investigate them. back then alexander litvinenko was a young agent who claimed to be disturbed by what he saw. litvinenko specialized in organized crime investigations but became obsessed with what he believed to be corruption within sfb, crimes committed by the cops. he compiled a dossier complete with flow charts detailing allegations and presented it personally to the head of the agency. and the result was? >> opposite. >> surveillance on your family. >> exactly. >> an outraged litvinenko now did the unthinkable. he led a nationality televised
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sprauns a group of agents, several in disguise claiming the sfb had become corrupted by russian mafia money. >> not only was it absolutely extraordinary but as you see from the picture of that news conference he did not have a mask. >> litvinenko even claimed he had been ordered to aassassinate a prominent billionaire. but instead warned him that his life was in danger. >> the essential motivation of this very simple man was his feeling that his country was being betrayed by the leadership. >> he believed he didn't do anything wrong. he was a good officer. >> he didn't think it would get him in trouble. >> he said they will kill me or arrest me. >> he was jailed for nine months but that billionaire he had warned bailed him out and helped
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lig litvinenko and his family flee to london. there he even wrote a book accusing the fsb of starting a war in chechnya for political reasons. in response russia brand litvinenko a traitor, his image used for target practice by russian special forces. this wasn't just symbolism. in march 2006 eight months before litvinenko's murder the russian parliament passed a law authorizing the liquidation of enemies of the state anywhere in the world. >> you don't pass that just for the sake of passing it. you have to have somebody in mind. >> seven months after the law was passed someone was liquidated, a prominent russian journalist shot in the head outside her moscow apartment. she was a friend of litvinenko. three weeks later litvinenko
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himself was poisoned with polonium 210. leader didn't shed tears but laughs off the notion that russian state was connected. he thinks russian agents would have done a better job. >> translator: i'm surprised that the uk special services and court accuses russia that it was a bag of polonium and came to london and were just throwing it around. >> it doesn't make sense to a lot of people that russia didn't kill them. >> translator: for 100 years the russian special services have been using the kind of substances for killing people that you never will be able to recognize. why do we have to go into some kind of bar and put it in someone's tea cup? the state cannot be involved in that. >> litvinenko's friend who believes he was the target of a botched assassination agrees that in some ways litvinenko's
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killers were indeed clumsy and careless but he says that is because they were probably just pawns in a much bigger game. >> you think any of them knew what the substance was? you think they knew they were handling polonium in. >> why wouldn't they have known? >> you don't want them to know. >> a better job not spreading it if they knew. >> they might say no. there is no way i'm going to do that. >> i don't want to handle this hade yo active material. >> i'm not going to kill myself in the process. >> to get closer to the truth we had to talk to the suspects themselves. >> a few weeks after litvinenko died of polonium poison he was hospitalized and lost all his hair. he hasn't been seen publically since 2012. that left lugavoi. he didn't want to speak to us.
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on the second day of our trip he called and said he was ready to talk. coming up -- at last we lay eyes on one of the men believed to have killed litvinenko. now we ask the question the world wants answered. >> did you put polonium in the tea? >> when dateline the real blacklist continues. ♪ me to the moon (elegant music) ♪ and let me play (bell rings)
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say. he was given to conspiracy theories and blowing things up out of all proportion. >> he and litvinenko used to both work for the fsb. both served time in jail. it was a bond between them. litvinenko opened a security consulting firm. he says he and litvinenko met several times in london to discuss doing business there together including that now infamous meeting in the pine bar where scotland yard says litvinenko was poisoned. he says the meeting was no big deal. >> what do you remember about sitting there at the table? >> translator: i remember that we talked with litvinenko about nothing in particular and now for eight years i am under suspicion. >> you're under suspicion because the investigation says there was polonium in that tea pot. did you put polonium in the tea? >> of course not.
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i was tested for polonium and i tested positive. did i put polonium into myself? am i an idiot? am i crazy? >> scotland yard's detectives don't believe his denials. in fact, they think he tried to kill litvinenko more than once. that's because they found polonium on the table in a conference room where he and litvinenko had met two weeks before the pine bar encounter. >> was anything spilled on the table? >> translator: richard, you're asking questions. i remember some things. i don't remember other things. i cannot answer these questions because these can be used against me in the court which is done frequently. >> as for his last meeting at the pine bar he says there is no way he brought polonium on the trip because his wife and children were with him. >> translator: a person's weakest spot is his family.
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i'm a rational man. even if i had taken part in an operation and had known what was in the container would i take my family along? i'm a rational man. i couldn't do it. >> not only did he continue to maintain his innocence he offered his own theory about who poisoned the tea. >> could someone put something in there without you noticing? >> translator: no. why don't you think it could have been put there the next day or from a guy from mi 6. he brings polonium and pours it into the cup? that is agatha christie stuff. >> he says perhaps the brits killed litvinenko to embarrass russia. retired mi 6 analyst says that's nonsense. if for no other reason because mi 6 would never use such an expensive weapon to kill anyone. >> if the british wanted to kill him then he would have fallen
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out of a hotel window or chased in front of a car and wouldn't spend $12 million. >> would have made it look like an accident. thing s are done more cost effectively old fashioned bullets in bodies work quite cheaply. >> why not just shoot him? >> i didn't say -- we don't do that sort of thing. >> litvinenko was working for mi 6 and it was lugavoi and partner who live a radio active trail. lugavoi is hardly hiding here in russia. he did an interview at one of the restaurants he owns and is a member of parliament and is something of a pop culture icon hosting his own tv show. the program appropriately enough is called traitors.
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it names and shames individuals who are supposedly enemies of the russian state. lugavoi's high profile here is one reason that many people who suspect him of murder don't think he acted on his own. another reason, all of the polonium 210 in russia is under the control of the state. >> it's impossible to use a state controlled substance like this without the knowledge of the very top of the country because you're unleashing a radio active substance. it's a tiny little dirty bomb. >> it is nuclear terrorism. coming up -- where does this trail really lead? of all of his enemies litvinenko may have infuriated one more than any other. >> i said that this is a very dangerous thing to do because you're personalizing this. [ crickets chirping ] [ light music playing ] you've wished upon it all year, and now it's finally here.
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with less of your body's natural blood-clotting function. for afib patients well-managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® compares in reducing the risk of stroke. don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor, as this may increase risk of stroke. while taking, you may bruise more easily, or take longer for bleeding to stop. it may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you've had spinal anesthesia, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures... ...and before starting xarelto®-about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. it's important to learn all you can... help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know™.
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while in london we had a hastily arranged meeting with another man who is convinced his life is in danger. he is a wanted man in rebel leae breakaway chechen republic and a former close friend of alexander litvinenko who he says gave him an important piece of advice. never trust old friends. >> he said someone will come from your past, but you shouldn't trust him because he will be your killer. >> sasha told you that? >> sasha told me that. beware of someone from your past. >> reporter: which may be what happened to lit verchgo. andre lugavoi was a person from his past. as we've seen, there were a number of people in litvinenko's past who may have wanted him dead. the fsb colleagues he denounced. the russian mobsters he was investigating. perhaps someone who thought he was a traitor for working with
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british intelligence. for years now, litvinenko's widow marina has been asking how big was the conspiracy? who was behind it? how high did it go? dangerous questions that she knows better than anyone. >> you think you play chess? but they play russian roulette. >> reporter: those who were closest to litvinenko believe the kill order may have come from the very top because litvinenko picked a fight with the wrong person from his past. none other than russian president vladimir putin. >> sasha was on a mission. he was trying to prove that putin is as corrupt as anybody in post-communist russia. >> reporter: the mission may have started years before when litvinenko made that flow chart of corruption in the fsb. the head of the agency at the time was putin. after litvinenko fled to london and putin became president of russia, litvinenko attacked him
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relentlessly, and by name. >> i and others said that this is a very dangerous thing to do because you're personalizing this. >> you told him that? >> but marina and others believe the ultimate motive may not have been personal at all. rather, it was all about money. we learn that in 2005 and 2006, litvinenko made multiple visits to spain, helping prosecutors take down a major organized crime ring. one that litvinenko publicly claimed had financial ties to president putin. putin's office has never responded to that allegation. ann applebaum, a pulitzer prize-winning author and expert on russia. >> anything litvinenko was doing that came close to the source of putin's personal wealth would have been, by far, the most dangerous things he could do. >> reporter: in addition to a possible motive, there was also
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the means. he says the fact that polonium was used to kill litvinenko leaves any doubt as to who authorized the murder. so does that mean it had to be putin? could have been someone else with access to -- >> come on. come on. you're not going to engage in an act of nuclear terrorism in downtown london without the knowledge of the office of the president. >> today we begin the open hearings in the inquiry into the death of alexander litvinenko. >> reporter: in january 2015, a public inquiry opened in london. it was a victory for marina who, along with her attorneys, fought an eight-year legal battle to make it happen. on the opening day, her attorney argued the evidence leads to one disturbing conclusion. which litvinenko himself receive reached before he died. >> mr. litvinenko came to the awful realization that he had been the victim of a political assassination by agents of the
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russian state. >> reporter: an expert witness testified the polonium that killed litvinenko could only have come from russia. president putin's spokesman declined our request for an interview. and in march 2015, putin gave lugavoy a medal. the order of moreit to the fatherland second class for his work in the duma. >> you think russia will ever come clean and this will be known? >> i believe one day we will know this. it will be very obvious for people to decide. >> in the years she's been looking for answers, other questions have multiplied. other deaths have been recorded. there was boris berezovsky, the russian oligarch that litvinenko refused to assassinate. in 2013, he was found dead in his london home. originally called a suicide, the judge said he couldn't rule out murder. >> the way he killed himself -- >> he hanged himself with a
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scarf. >> with a scarf in the bathroom. and the fact that his bodyguard was not there, it raises questions. >> reporter: in february 2015, another putin critic, boris nemstov was gunned down in the shadow of the kremlin. the victim was about to lead a major rally against putin. it went on without him. five chechen nationals were arrested and put on trial. they have denied involvement in the murders. nemstov's party colleague vladimir suspected putin loyalists were behind the assassination. >> people shouldn't be killed for their political activity and because they happen to disagree with the government. the leader of the russian opposition, boris nemsov was killed, gunned down, because he opposed the russian regime. for no other reason. >> putin's office has denied involvement in nemstov's
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killing. less than three months after nemstov's murder, murza himself became the target of an assassination attempt. in may 2015, he suddenly became violently ill. what was initially thought to be heart problems turned out to be poison. he recovered, but in 2017, he was poisoned again. >> i woke up because my heart was racing. the heartbeat was getting faster and faster, and i could feel it. >> you woke up to this feeling. >> yeah. there are no words to describe this. to describe how you feel when you're trying to breathe and you cannot. you slowly feel your whole body just giving up, one organ after another. you feel like the life is going out of you. and i remember having this distinct feeling, okay, this is it. >> this time, he barely escaped with his life and spent almost
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two weeks in a medically induced coma. he has never found out how he was poisoned. >> who do you think was responsible? >> i can only presume that this is -- this was done by people with at least with connections to the russian special services. >> the kremlin has denied any involvement in his poisoning. since the 2016 u.s. presidential election, a number of russian diplomats and operatives have been killed or died under mysterious circumstances around the world. in march 2017, the u.s. senate held hearings on russian involvement in the election. >> the american people need to fully understand the threat that we face and what we must do to protect ourselves in the future. >> former fbi agent clint watts was called to testify before the committee. >> follow the trail of dead russians. there's been more dead russians
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in the past three months tied to this involveigation who have assets in banks all over the world. they are dropping dead even in western countries. >> so much of this intrigue and violence may seem very far away. but when nbc news consultant paul joyle was shot just a few miles from the capital, he and his wife immediately thought it was a hit. a big reason? the timing. >> it's four days after we choose the president of being responsible for the horrible murder of litvinenko on your network. >> in early 2007, he appeared in a "dateline "report on the litvinenko case. >> did putin order it? did he know it? we can't say that. i would find it hard to believe that this information, whatever it may be, has not filtered its way up to the top. >> just four days later, he was almost murdered himself. >> you think they are related? >> i don't think there's any doubt. >> people out in the general
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public say, oh, that's in russia. it's never going to happen here. but i know that it can happen here, too. i know that it can happen here because it happened to my husband. >> there's no proof they are right, but paul's assailants have never been caught. and elizabeth admits, at first she was angry when he agreed to be interviewed again for this program. >> i said, what are you thinking? why do you want to bring notice once again? but then when the man in russia was shot, i had kind of an epiphany. i was like, wait a minute. someone needs to talk about this. someone needs to say, this is not right. >> can i ask you an obvious question? why are you still doing this? why are you talking to me now against -- >> against the advice of counsel of my family? well, it may be foolish, but i think it's the right thing to do.
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that's all for now. i'm richard engel. thanks for joining us. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. follow lockup producers and crews as they go behind america's prisons and jails for the scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." >> start with your right hand. totally relax. >> unlike prison, the majority of inmates inside the nation's county jails are only charged with crimes and are awaiting


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