Analyst's Wallet Not Stolen, Son Says

By Eric Rich
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The assailants who shot an expert on Russian intelligence in Prince George's County last week did not, as law enforcement sources said, take his wallet, the victim's adult son said yesterday, showing the billfold to a reporter.

The disclosure, which contradicts a report in The Washington Post yesterday, adds to the allegations and theories about the shooting, which left Paul Joyal, 53, critically wounded in his driveway Thursday night.

During a brief interview at the family's home in the Adelphi area, Alex Joyal said his father was in critical but stable condition. He declined to say whether the family has a theory about the crime. "We're not going to speculate right now," he said.

The timing of the shooting -- four days after Paul Joyal said on "Dateline NBC" that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for the poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko -- raised the possibility that Joyal might have been targeted in retaliation for his comment.

"We really have no idea what the reason was," Elizabeth Joyal, Paul Joyal's wife, told the Associated Press yesterday, adding that "it could easily have been a random act of violence."

Several news outlets, including The Post, have cited anonymous law enforcement officials as saying that the shooting appeared to have occurred during a botched robbery. The claim that a wallet and briefcase had been taken from Paul Joyal was seen as offering additional support for the theory that he was targeted in a robbery or perhaps a failed carjacking.

A source in The Post's report said yesterday that the wallet and briefcase were initially thought to have been taken but that the wallet was found in Joyal's car. The location of the briefcase was unclear last night.

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