Litvinenko (43) is an outspoken critic of the Russian President Vladimir Putin who fled Russia for England six years to the day before he was poisoned. He died after drinking green tea laced with a rare and very strong radioactive isotope at London’s Millennium Hotel.
“Russia is responsible for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in the UK,” the court said in a statement about its decision Al Arabiya, Tuesday (21/9/2021).
The court found that former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy and another Russian citizen, Dmitry Kovtun, acted as Russian agents in Litvinenko’s murder. The murder occurred in 2006 after Litvinenko was poisoned with Polonium 210, a rare radioactive isotope.
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“The court finds in particular that there is a strong prima facie case that, in poisoning Litvinenko, Lugovoi and Kovtun had acted as agents of the Russian State,” the European court said.
“The court ruled, beyond any doubt, that the murders were committed by Lugovoy and Kovtun,” the ruling reads.
They added that the assassination may have been directed by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.
“The planned and complex operation involving the procurement of a rare lethal poison, travel arrangements for the couple, and repeated and sustained attempts to deliver the poison indicate that Litvinenko has been the target of the operation,” the ruling reads.