Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.
Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko's network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from "a special bureau" - a reference to the secret service FSB - to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.
Russian Investors The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.
On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company "Russian Investors". Hidden on a page listing the company's "philanthropic" activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.
Aftenposten's London correspondent phoned the investment company's managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.
The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.
He also said it must be a case of a "another girl with the same name", without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.
Skeptics The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a "massive disinformation campaign" about the Litvinenko affair.
Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko's efforts to publicize information he gained.
"He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy," Warsinski said.
Somehow, i belive that.
basicaly, vast majority of former KGB agents (not just from Russia, but most of all from former Soviet republics) went to "Privateers", e.i. mafia.
As in this case, and most of the casess, Russian "buissnissmen" hade their own private KGB agents, and Litvinenko was probably one of them.
Where is the money, there is the mafia, where is the mafia, there is power, where is power, there are former KGB agents needed.
60 minutes working for Putin ---
what else is new.