Putin probably approved ex-spy's killing - UK probe

2016-01-21 15:44
A May 2002 AP file photo of Alexander Litvinenko, taken at his home in London

A May 2002 AP file photo of Alexander Litvinenko, taken at his home in London

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - (dpa) - Russian President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the killing of Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko, an inquiry in Britain has found.

Following a 12-month investigation the chairperson of the government inquiry, Robert Owen, said he had concluded that former Russian military officer Dmitry Kovtun and a Russian associate, Andrei Lugovoi, poisoned Litvinenko in 2006 under direction from the FSB, Russia's state security agency.

"I am sure that Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun were acting under the direction of others when they poisoned Mr Litvinenko," Owen said in his report, adding that both suspects were likely to have been directed by the FSB.

"The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin," he said, referring to Nikolai Patrushev, who was head of the FSB in 2006.

Litvinenko, an exiled former Russian spy turned British informant, fled to Britain in 2000 and became an outspoken critic of Putin.

He is believed to have ingested polonium-210, which is produced in nuclear reactors, at a meeting in London with Kovtun and Lugovoi.

Litvinenko's widow, Marina Litvinenko, welcomed Thursday's findings and urged Prime Minister David Cameron to expel all Russian intelligence officers from Britain and impose "targeted economic sanctions" and travel bans on Russians linked to her husband's death, including Patrushev and Putin.

She said she had received a letter from Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday, "promising action".

British prosecutors had accused Kovtun and Lugovoi of involvement in Litvinenko's murder, but the Russian government refused to extradite them to answer the charges.

On Thursday, Russian officials again said they would not extradite the two suspects and claimed the British inquiry was politically motivated.

"We regret that the purely criminal case has been politicised and has marred the entire atmosphere of bilateral relations," Russia's Tass news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as saying.

Zakharova said Britain's decision to suspend an earlier coroner's inquest and open a public inquiry into Litvinenko's death was "clearly politically motivated."

Moscow planned to present a "detailed review" of the inquiry report after analysing it, the Interfax news agency said.

Lugovoi said the allegations against him were "nonsense," Interfax said.

Read more on:    alexander litvinenko  |  russia  |  uk

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.