Russia responsible for assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, European court rules

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Russia was responsible for the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko in Britain, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

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The 43-year-old, who worked for Russian security services before moving to Britain, died in London in 2006 after drinking poison-laden green tea.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Russia was behind his murder at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.


Russia has always denied any involvement in Litvinenko’s death.

A British investigation in 2016 concluded that Vladimir Putin may have sanctioned a Russian intelligence campaign to assassinate Litvinenko, a vocal critic of the Russian president.

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It was found that ex-KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy and another Russian, Dmitry Kovtun, probably carried out the killing as part of an operation directed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights said it had found there was “a strong prima facie case that both men” were “acting as agents of the Russian state” in poisoning Litvinenko.

The 43-year-old, who worked for both the FSB and the KGB, went public in 1998 with allegations that he had been asked to look into the possibility of killing a wealthy businessman.

He fled Russia after being fired by the FSB and was granted asylum in the UK in 2001.

In its ruling, the European Court of Human Rights said Mr Litvinenko “joined the exposing links to corruption and organized crime in the Russian intelligence services”.


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