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U.K. Reopens 1978 Ricin Murder Investigation

The United Kingdom has launched a new investigation into a Cold War-era murder in which a modified umbrella was used to implant a toxic ricin pellet into the leg of a Bulgarian exile living in London, the London Independent reported (see GSN, Jan. 8, 2003).

Officers from Scotland Yard last month traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, where they requested archived information on the 1978 killing of Georgi Markov and sought interviews with 40 people connected to the case, according to the Bulgarian newspaper Dnevnik,.  Among those is former Bulgarian secret police chief Vladimir Todorov, who was imprisoned for 10 months in 1992 for destroying case documents.

Last month's trip by British investigators followed earlier visits to Bulgaria in March and April 2007.

"This inquiry remains open and has been a particularly complex investigation," said a Scotland Yard spokesman.  "We continue to work with the appropriate international authorities to investigate any new information that is passed or made available to police."

Andrey Tsvetanov, Bulgarian police investigator for the case, told Dnevnik:  "We are fully cooperating with our colleagues and are having a 100 percent exchange of information on both sides -- something we lacked in the past.  We can now talk about a real investigation and analysis of the case.  I hope that our collaboration will help exhaust all case scenarios."

Former KGB officials have said that the agency produced the material used to kill Markov and that Bulgarian agents carried out the assassination.

Bulgaria's 30-year statute of limitations arrives in September (Jonathan Brown, London Independent, June 20).

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

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