Analyst Robbed During Shooting
Monday, March 5, 2007
The noted expert in Russian intelligence who was shot outside his house in Prince George's County last week -- a crime that raised the possibility of international intrigue in the Washington suburbs -- also was robbed of his wallet and briefcase, law enforcement sources said yesterday.
That property was taken from Paul Joyal supports the theory that he was shot during a robbery rather than in retaliation for public criticism of the Kremlin, according to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Joyal, 53, was critically wounded in the driveway of his home in the Adelphi area Thursday evening, four days after he alleged in a television broadcast that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the fatal poisoning last fall of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who was living in London.
Speaking on TV's "Dateline NBC" on Feb. 25 about the poisoning, Joyal said, "A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: 'If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you and we will silence you -- in the most horrible way possible.' "
The timing of Joyal's shooting raised the possibility that he was targeted in an attack similar to the one he had publicly deplored. The disclosure the next day that the FBI was helping with the case seemed for many to reinforce that notion.
In addition, robberies are rare in the suburban area where Joyal lives, and police spokesmen have declined to talk about possible motives or say whether property was taken from Joyal.
But another law enforcement source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said yesterday that Joyal was driving a Chrysler 300, a vehicle sought by carjackers, suggesting that the assailants might have followed Joyal home rather than waited there to attack him. Police have described the suspects as two black males.
Joyal, a longtime critic of the Putin regime, said on "Dateline" that Litvinenko's poisoning -- with polonium-210, a rare radioactive isotope -- was an act of "political retribution." Speculation that Putin and the Russian government were involved in Litvinenko's death in November has been widespread, in part because Litvinenko was looking into the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Putin and Kremlin officials have denied involvement.
For some, the possibility of a conspiracy in the shooting of Joyal was compounded by the recent death of another person featured in the TV segment.
Daniel McGrory, 54, a reporter for the Times of London, died at his home Feb. 20. MSNBC reported that McGrory's cause of death was a heart attack.
Joyal was shot hours after meeting with a former KGB general, Oleg Kalugin, near the Spy Museum in Washington. Kalugin, a family friend and a member of the museum's board, has said he was shocked when Joyal's wife called later that evening to tell him that Joyal had been shot.
Joyal, who was struck in the groin, remained hospitalized Saturday. His condition could not be determined yesterday.