Russia behind Litvinenko murder, rules European rights court
15:00, Tuesday, 21 September, 2021
Russia was responsible for the killing of Alexander Litvinenko, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found. Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who became a British citizen, was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.Russia has always denied any involvement in his murder. The UK inquiry said former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi and another Russian, Dmitry Kovtun deliberately poisoned Mr Litvinenko, probably by putting the radioactive substance into his tea. Litvinenko's widow, Marina, took the case against Russia to the Strasbourg-based rights court, which has agreed with the UK inquiry's conclusion. "The court found in particular that there was a strong prima facie case that, in poisoning Mr Litvinenko, Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun had been acting as agents of the Russian state," the ECHR ruled.It concluded that Russia's failure to refute claims that it had organised the killing further pointed towards the state's responsibility.