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May blatantly misleads Parliament about Russian “terrorist” law

Theresa May following a tradition of being less than exact in Parliament about a casus belli

When Theresa May said this in the House of Commons today:

While the extra-judicial killing of terrorists and dissidents outside Russia were given legal sanction by the Russian Parliament in 2006.”

she was either disgracefully uninformed or was intentionally misleading Parliament on the nature of the Russian laws in question.

Her words completely misrepresent the known and understood facts of the case.

Not only have two experts in Russian law given their view that the laws do not permit the extra-judicial killing of “dissidents” in the manner described, but a British judge ruled in agreement with this conclusion during the Litvinenko Inquiry.

These are the judge’s own words:

The only legal route to extra-territorial action against Mr Litvinenko was therefore under the Terrorism Law. However, action could only have been taken against Mr Litvinenko under this law had he been involved in, or no doubt suspected of involvement in, some form of terrorist activity. Article 3 of the Terrorism Law contains definitions of terrorism and terrorist acts that are broadly conventional, and certainly not as expansive as the definition of ‘extremism’ in the second of the 2006 laws. Mr Batmanov’s letter (above) states that, “Alexander Litvinenko did not make part of a terrorist organization and was not accused by Russian law enforcement bodies of having committed a terrorist crime.” That accords with my understanding of the evidence

On the basis of the evidence currently before me, and in light of the considerations set out above, I am therefore not persuaded that any action could have been taken by the FSB against Mr Litvinenko in 2006 under the terms of either of the 2006 laws.

Put simply, this means the two laws would not have legalised the killing of Litvinenko on foreign soil. And, by extension would not legalise the poisoning of Skripal either.

Alexander Mercouris, a former UK barrister and author of a lengthy study of the Litvinenko Inquiry (published by OffG here and cited above) had this to say to us about May’s words in Parliament today:

Theresa May…was the Home Secretary who – somewhat unwillingly – set up the Litvinenko inquiry, and to whom the inquiry report was formally addressed. It is difficult to believe therefore that she is unaware that there is a British judicial finding that the two Russian laws which were passed in 2006 do not authorise extra judicial assassination attempts such as the one the British say was carried out in 2006 against Litvinenko, or the one which the British say was recently carried out against Skripal – who had of course been previously pardoned for his crimes by the Russian state.

The question arises – if this part of May’s statement contained such a blatant inaccuracy, how much weight can be given to her other as yet unsubstantiated claims of Russian guilt?

Those currently excoriating Jeremy Corbyn for asking for evidence before endorsing what amounts to indirect declarations of war on a nuclear power, might want to consider this fact before continuing on their chosen path.


  1. rtj1211 says

    What actually is required is a ruling by the Speaker that knowingly lying to Parliament is a ‘Naming’ offence and the Office of the Speaker expelling liars from the chamber until they return, eat humble pie by saying ‘I sought to increase the risk of war by lying like a scumbag’.

    It is incompatible with the Office of The Speaker to call deliberately lying to inflame war sentiments ‘Honorable Behaviour’.

    Any backbencher with spine needs to be challenging the Speaker to rule on dishonorable behaviour, including: Rt Hon Member for Maidenhead; Rt Hon Member for Uxbridge and Ruislip South; and the Hon. Member for the Rhondda.

    Important to paint the Speaker as unfit for purpose, I think: that makes the whole HOC unfit for purpose as well.

    • Mikalina says

      John Bercow, the Speaker, has been under a lot of attack recently with threats of removal. One can only assume that this normally VERY independent and fair Speaker has been, in effect, told to put up or shut up.

  2. Fair dinkum says

    The ghost of Thatcher walks amongst us.

  3. Arthur Cadbury says

    To say suggest that Theresa May’s behaviour – and that of her baying ranting cronies blinded by their red mist – is tantamount to the height of stupidity, bearing in mind the current international climate, would be somewhat of an understatement – it appears that the heights of stupidity could yet be further scaled by a government that, for the most part, is constituted of mentally and emotionally retarded individuals who, rather than reflect upon their arrogance and moral posturing, would be prepared to see our species annihilated. It is imperative that this government is subjected to a comprehensive defeat as soon as possible and that wiser counsel may prevail. The very same can be said of the US Administration which is already exploiting this British debacle to further their anti-Russian agenda. Nikki Haley had the gall to say that ‘our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ (of the Salisbury poisoning) when really her thoughts and prayers should be with the relatives of the countless number of innocent individuals that have been slaughtered and disposed of as a direct result of the foreign interventions undertaken by the USA over the last 30 years. Finally here, a government that has been responsible for the genocide of those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has no claim to holding any ‘moral ground’ whatsoever. We can only wait for all these geriatric power-crazy perverts to pass away, and allow the youth of this world, of all nations, to work together to save our planet and its inhabitants. This is our only hope.

    • mark says

      Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin evidence!!!

    • always write says

      good comment, gave it the old thumbs up, can’t for the life of me understand why someone would give it the thumbs down, but then we’re living in very strange times

  4. George Cornell says

    The leading smoking gun candidate for murdering David Kelly is the UK government. Why else gaslight the public?

  5. MichaelK says

    What’s frightening, is that the government can now basically manufacture an attack and an international crisis with Russia, and employ the rhetoric and methods usually linked to preparations for war… based on what increasingly looks like a hoax story that’s transparently absurd, illogical, false and lacking in any real substance at all. If they are allowed to get away with this, with barely a voice raised in opposition or any criticism… what’s next? Going to war because one believes in witches, has it come to that? This shows that our entire system has virtually collapsed, any checks or balances aimed at scrutinizing the executive branch. Everyone especially the media, just falls into line without a murmur of dissent, yet we are talking about war here, not the usual political bullshit. And the Labour right seems to want to join the Conservatives, in the fucking national interest, in wartime, because this keeps Corbyn from taking over. Increasingly it resembles the preparation, not just for some kind of war with Russia, but the establishment of a form of dictatorship.

  6. MichaelK says

    May has been criticized for her lack of strong leadership qualities and being a weak and ineffectual leader, so this episode is a gift that’s ‘just fallen into her lap.’ She gets to ‘stand tall’, and like Churchill stand up to a larger and aggressive state ruled by a bad and mad dictator. How fortunate for her? Isn’t she lucky that Putin came to her aide?

    Is this all just bullshit or is it part of something bigger, like manufacturing an excuse to ‘go to war’ with Russia in Syria? Public opinion is being ‘groomed’ and prepared for conflict with Russia and the media’s role is a disgrace, instead of scrutiny and examination, they are all fanning the flames which could easily turn into an inferno.

    It’s also worth remembering that in 1914 domestic political considerations played a decisive role in the cabinet’s decision to declare war on Germany. There was a risk that the unpopular government could fall and a new election would bring the opposition to power, so the government had to appear strong and resolute instead of weak and divided which was why war seemed the better option compared to a messy compromise with Germany and Austria.

    • mark says

      It is (1) More money for the military industrial complex. “We must increase military spending from 2 to 2.5%” An increase of 25%. Break out the champagne at British Aerospace and Raytheon. (2) “We must beef up our military presence in Poland and the Baltics.” Neocons cheer loudly. (3) “At least this will make it easier to get sanctions approved for another year. Italy was looking a bit wobbly.” (4) “It should help us get Nordstream 2 stopped.” Even louder cheering from the US LNG lobby.

  7. mog says

    Hard to see how the UK gov can row back from this.
    This is what is most frightening to me, that they are so committed to such an evidence-free accusation.
    It makes me think that if they cannot volte-face, then they will have to double down….

  8. archie1954 says

    This whole unfortunate matter can be handled legally under certain treaties already in place that spell out the procedure to follow under these circumstances. Why the current Prime Minister is not following those procedures is a question she should be asked.

  9. Jonj says

    As Russian representative to UNSC has just said…. Porton Down can only say this is the claimed chemical by comparing it with something exactly the same they already have…..now considering some have said that it is easily dissipated by moisture eg rain…perhaps high humidity….then Salisbury was deliberately chosen as to ensure it could be identified asap without degradation…..so close to Porton Down…..

  10. Susan Wallace says

    This is another excellent website for truth. Well done off-guardian.
    To find out what is really happening in UK please watch ‘UK Column News’ online – Mon-Fri. The circulate and share with others./

    • FairGo says

      Or, if you don’t have time to watch UK Column News, you can download it as a podcast.

  11. Manfred Steifschwanz says

    As always, these ludicrous displays of ’holy rage’ among the West’s moral pygmies are just pathetic stunts that have been planned well in advance.

    These sods couldn’t sanction Russia’s scientific and military prowess into the gutter; hence their idiotic playing with ’soft power’. This is, highly likely, the long-awaited attempt to trash Russia’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup, and pass it on to Britain.

  12. To understand what is really going on, see:

    Renowned French security expert Paul Barril discloses the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders.

    • Susan Wallace says

      Thank you. I will circulate.
      Please watch ‘UK Column News’ online – Mon-Fri to see what is really happening in UK. Then please circulate.

    • Manfred Steifschwanz says

      Judging by the stunning achievements of Russia under Putin, ”Beluga” looks rather silly to me. After all, gullible Westerners won’t be casting any votes in Russia’s Presidential Elections. The Western MSM are just praying to the choir including, most notably, self-hating Russians, a.k.a. Liberals and the Ukronazis.

  13. Thomas Prentice says


    • Betrayed planet says

      She is I believe clinicallly insane. And I have a lot of clinical experience.

      • lucdevincke says

        Don’t search it so far. There has always been an anglo-saxon hate against everything Russian. The Crimean war, with indeed the invasion of Crimea in 1853. Don’t forget the 2 Afghan wars at the end of the 19th century, when India was stil part of the Empire, directed against Russian influence in that region, The struggle for Persia for the same reasons, namely to keep the Russians out. The Doggersbank incident just before WW1 when GB chose sides with Japan against Russia. The hate of Winston Churchill against that country too.
        The Brittish nowadays still think in that good old imperial way, just as their buddies, the Americans. Without Russia (and the Chinese) the Brittish could think themselves, as little childs at the hand of big brother USA, master of the world. They never had thought that with Russia on the canvas after the Cold War, that long desired prey could escape them. They are hatefull because since 2000 Russia is on its feet again, not ready to accept a new KO. The second problem; the resurrection of Russia saves enough time for China to become a world power. All that makes that Putin and Russia are hated as never before, because the anglo-saxon master plan is not possible any more in an easy way.

      • they’re only local elections – for councils, not for parliament, unfortunately.

        • Nevertheless, May stands to considerably lose her grip on power and is in panic mode.


          A string of high-profile defeats is likely to make key Conservative London MPs begin to worry about their own constituencies, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, given Labour activists have launched a campaign to unseat him in Uxbridge.

          MPs have said if the local elections lead to a complete meltdown, with Tories losing out in both London and Birmingham to Labour, then Ms May could face a further leadership challenge.


          • Mikalina says

            Local conservative councillors are publishing and distributing very fancy ‘local newspapers’ which they have never done before. Ours cleverly focuses on an issue the Labour run council has had problems dealing with. Lovely photos and promises and a ‘hello’ from our regional mayor (whose election no-one wanted and had appalling turn out).

          • Unseating Boris Johnson will not be easy: the UKIP vote collapsed in 2017 and went to Labour last time and Libdem and Greens pitiful. Still Boris had a 5,000 majority.

            Needs high turnout, no third party candidates and conservatives not bothering to vote.

            Even then it would a seismic shock….

    • Sokol says

      If she starts a war with Russia one would have to ask; Would there be a government to save?

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