Russia fatally poisoned Alexander Litvinenko in London, a court concludes: NPR


Russia fatally poisoned Alexander Litvinenko in London, a court concludes: NPR

Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB spy and author of the book “Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within,” is shown here in 2002, four years before he was poisoned.

Alistair Fuller/AP


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Alistair Fuller/AP


Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB spy and author of the book “Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within,” is shown here in 2002, four years before he was poisoned.

Alistair Fuller/AP

The European Court of Human rights has found the Kremlin responsible for the murder in 2006 due to radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence agent who defected to the West.

Litvinenko passed away in London weeks after drinking tea that was later found be laced with the deadly radioactive compound polonium-210.

In his statement, the ECtHR said: it “cannot but conclude” that two Russian intelligence agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, had killed Litvinenko “as agents of the defendant stands [Russia].”

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in Litvinenko’s death, while Lugovoi and Kovtun have suggested that the defector may have poisoned himself. However, critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, himself former KGB officer, say Litvinenko’s death is a part of a deliberate policy defectors “liquidate”.

On his deathbed, Litvinenko himself accused Putin of ordering his murder.

The European Court decision is in line with the findings of a 2016 UK study in Litvinenko’s death. It concluded that the FSB, the successor to the KGB, out the operation to kill it, die “probably was approved by Mr. [Nikolai] Patrushov, then head of the FSB, and also by President Putin.”

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