evidence trump tower was under surveillance by any part of the government during last year's presidential election. very unusually, britain's gchq has issued a statement, calling mr trump's allegations complete and utter nonsense, which should be ignored. a bbc crew and severaljournalists had to run for cover when they were caught on mount etna, in sicily, as it erupted. etna has been active for a few days, but the scale of this eruption was unexpected — ten people were injured. activists say at least a0 people have been killed in north—west syria, where a mosque was hit by an airstrike during evening prayers. the british—based syrian observatory for human rights says the mosque was in a village held by anti—government rebels. is time now for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm sarah montague. my guest today is lucky to be alive. he was rushed to hospital
in moscow when his organs started shutting down. he says he knew immediately what was happening because the same thing happened to him two years ago. both times he claims he was the victim of deliberate poisoning. h5; vladimilﬁaram the vice—chairman of the pro—democracy and he claims he was targeted because of his opposition to president putin and the russian government. he is now recovering in washington but intends to go back to moscow. so does he still fear for his life? vladimir kara—murza, welcome to hardtalk.
hello, thank you for having me. can you tell us when you first realised that something was wrong in this recent illness that you suffered? well, i actually woke up at about 4.30 in the morning because i felt my heart racing, and it was racing at an increasing speed. and then suddenly i began sweating profusely and feeling really, really weak. and i felt my blood pressure dropping suddenly and all of a sudden it became difficult to breathe. i was gasping for air. i was trying to make this movement to bring the air in, air was coming out. but was probably... no air was coming in, rather, and that was probably the scariest thing. and of course i didn't want to admit it but i knew straight away what it was because this was the second time this happened—i in the last two years.
the way that starts it, it happens really quickly, so literally you have just a few minutes before you become incapacitated. i called my wife and i told what was happening. and of course we both knew it was the same thing that happened in 2015. and she called the doctor, the same doctor who saved my life last time, two years ago. she told him what was happening, and after that i basically immediately collapsed, i was unable to sit, unable to stand, obviously, unable to do anything, just lying down on the floor. andrthenzagajnrl was vervfortunate i was at the apartment of my parents—in—law in moscow. and they could call an ambulance. and then within six to seven hours, all of my major organs just shut down, just gave up, one after another, and i lost consciousness and i don't remember anything for the next two weeks. so there were, what, two weeks when you had been put into a medically—induced coma to keep you alive.
yes and i was on several artificial life support machines because none of my organs worked. everything just gave up, the heart, the lungs, kidneys, liver, everything was artificially supported. and they were cleaning the blood as well and changing the blood plasma, once they've done that, by the way, this is when the situation began improving. so presumably the poison, the toxin, whatever, it was in the blood. and this, by the way, is exactly the same picture that but basically it was the same thing. when i was poisoned for the first time in may 2015, except at that time it took a little more time, it took about two days, last time, for my organs to shut down, but this time it took just six to seven hours. maybe because i still hadn't fully recovered from the first poisoning, the body was weaker than it should have been. but also this time because it was the same medical team, straight away that this was the same thing they were dealing with, exactly the same problem.
so they knew what to do. and this is why they did everything so much quicker than last time. than. tug msnths'snﬁ'thsﬁ it tsg'smsﬂ i had to learn to walk again, and use cutlery again, to try to get my strength back. this time everything was much quicker but they also saved me quicker. but of course the recovery is still going to take a long while, as i'm onlyjust beginning this process now. now you say you were deliberately poisoned. but what is the evidence for that? doctors, that they themselves would know immediately when it happened and what was used. s well, first of all the official diagnosis which is stated in my documents from the moscow hospital says toxic action by an unidentified substance. which is poisoning. and frankly, you know, my doctors in moscow, their task was not to find
the reason, their task and i'm eternally grateful to them for that. as far as the evidence goes, there is no possible natural reason for a healthy 33—year—old in the first instance, now 35—year—old man, to suddenly collapse and have all his organs shut down within several hours for apparent reason. with no prior history of illnesses, no possible natural causes existing before. and of course... but there are cases. revealed traces of a antidepressant. and he suggested, which you had been using, and he suggested that it was that that could have caused the problems. he couldn't confirm it but it was an idea. right, well first of all, that wasn't very plausible to begin with even last time, but this time they didn't find any traces of anything.
so they didn't even discuss this version this time because it has absolutely no grounds. what we do know from last time is, , if .. .. 77,1...s. z==.== . 7—— and fingernails was submitted to a french toxicology lab in strasbourg, in france. and they didn't find the actual tnxmsbuththerdwtdﬁﬂﬁdﬂﬁg acceptable limit which obviously didn't show the cause that there was some kind of external interference. that sample wasn't very objective from last time because it was taken, i think, three orfour days after i was brought into hospital and they'd already begun haemodialysis, the cleaning of the blood. from the first day, so they are more objective than the first time and this time they sent them to three toxicology labs in three different countries, france, israel, and the united states. we still have no results. and of course i'm hoping
that they will find something. i mean it would be nice to see with what they are trying to kill me every two years. but this was some kind of very sophisticated toxin. you know, one that shuts down all your organs within several hours and of course the way sophisticated, because i didn't notice, i didn't know. that is one of the many strange things about this, is that you have no awareness of when it could have happened. at, which is, you've said, is likely to be the special services, effectively the domestic secret services in russia. absolutely, well, judging by the toxin itself, which is, as i said, it seems to be very sophisticated, 1—7?! 1l»; arses-1.77 lug—ea— :;,,,:., 77— f ——— frankly, that's what usuallv ,, 7 the person is not usually aware of the moment he or she is being poisoned, otherwise it wouldn't work. so the way they introduced it was, presumably, pretty sophisticated. i‘m confident'thatthismsﬁﬁne-
been connected with the russian domestic security services. especially if you put two and two together, given what i do, given my active involvement in the democratic opposition in russia. particularly given my involvement, together with the late boris nemtsov, the leader of the russian opposition, and several other colleagues, in the campaign a few years ago, in support of the magnitsky act, act being passed in the united states. 0k. we'll. .. i think that is probably the most likely... you talk about how you put two and two together. the difficulty here is that there doesn't seem to be any substantial evidence. even your own father was quoted, both in the new york times and in the russian paper as saying he doesn't believe you were poisoned. fie—wee thaéssfeaésafmss is —— — — —— i don't think so either. if someone really intended to kill him they wouldn't have
allowed him to be driven to intensive care. well, in terms of my father, we have to be careful with quoting here. years, ithink, you know, maybe, you're not going to be in a very stable and adequate state when you are doing these comments. he said it on day one when he didn't have any more specific information. if you look at what he said later on, it would be very different, and of course my wife and my lawyer was speaking on my behalf during this latest poisoning and they said it very clearly from the outset. as i mentioned already, after the first time, the french toxicology lab found traces of heavy metals dozens of times over the limit. no way would that naturally occur in the human body. yes, but you sent your blood to two other labs as well, who didn't find that. no, no, no, this time it was sent to three labs, israel, the united states and france. last time it was only sent to one and it was sent, the sample was, as i said, not very objective, because it took... but your father makes an interesting point. he may have changed his position but he made an interesting point
that you were allowed to be taken to the hospital, you were then, once you were considerably better, allowed to leave the country, and he also made another point on that. admittedly within the first couple of days. "my son's health is weak and so is his immune system. any common cold could be dangerous for him." well, first of all again i'm not sure why we are discussing this because the official diagnosis from my russian hospital on the official papers states the diagnosis as toxic action by unidentified substance, and as i've said, we have sent, or rather, my wife and my lawyer, because i was in a coma, i couldn't do anything. they have sent the samples of blood, hair and fingernails to three labs in three different countries, and we are still awaiting but as i mentioned, i don't think there is a guarantee that they will find anything. i'm hoping they will, as said it would be nice to know who is trying to kill me every two years. but the one thing we do know about this organisation, or these organisations if we are talking about the russian domestic security services, is that they do know their poisons. they do know their toxins.
they've had this laboratory for decades now. they've been developing this and these poisons, these toxins, are not only very effective, but many of them are also untraceable. i mean, you've had cases in your own country, in the united kingdom... how do you think they were able to get the poison into you? well, i think that's the easiest thing of all. many of them are in public places, cafes a nd restau ra nts. it doesn't take, frankly, that much effort, to slip something into tea orjuice. this is obviously, i don't have any specific information of where or when this was done by whom. the only thing i'm pretty confident about is the why. but of course as you know they can do these things in london, i'm sure they can also do these things in moscow. 0k. before we come on to the why, you say it was, you are convinced but who would have ordered it? is this the sort of thing you think president putin would have got involved in?
i don't know and i wouldn't like to speculate. i only like to say things i am sure about. and i am sure that these were people in some way connected to the russian domestic security services judging by the way it was done. and judging by the reason but i think it was done for. but why would they be interested in you? because you make the point about the magnitsky act which was an american law passed to target individuals, named after sergei magnitsky, the lawyer who died you seem, forgive me, but relatively small fry. why should they be bothered by you? well, first of all, if you look at the track record of the last several years, there seems to be an extremely high mortality rate for some reason among people who have either been critics all political opponents of mr putin's regime or people engaged in independentjournalism.