Kremlin critic Litvinenko, 43, died weeks after drinking green tea mixed with polonium-210 at the luxurious Millennium Hotel in London in an attack Britain has long blamed on Moscow. In its decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concluded that Russia was responsible for the murder.
“He found that the assassination of Mr. Litvinenko was attributable to Russia,” said his statement.
Russia has always denied any involvement in Litvinenko’s death, which plunged Anglo-Russian relations to post-Cold War lows.
A lengthy British investigation concluded in 2016 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had likely approved a Russian intelligence operation to assassinate Litvinenko.
He also revealed that former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy and fellow Russian Dmitri Kovtun committed the murder in an operation presumably led by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor. of the Soviet-era KGB.
The ECHR has given its consent. The two men have always denied any involvement.
“The court found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the murder was committed by Mr. Lugovoy and Mr. Kovtun,” the judgment said.
“The planned and complex operation involving the purchase of a rare deadly poison, the travel arrangements for the couple and the repeated and sustained attempts to administer the poison indicated that Mr. Litvinenko had been the target of the operation. . “
He also concluded that the Russian state was to blame and that if the men had carried out a “rogue operation” Moscow would have the information to prove this theory.
“However, the government has made no serious attempt to provide such information or to counter the findings of the UK authorities,” the ruling said.
Charges in nerve agent attack in 2018
Meanwhile, British police said on Tuesday they were indicting a third Russian suspect in the 2018 nerve agent attack on a former Russian agent in England.
Scotland Yard said on Tuesday prosecutors believe there is enough evidence to charge Denis Sergeev, who went by the name of “Sergey Fedotov”, with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, possession and use of a chemical weapon. and causing serious bodily harm.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were the targets of a 2018 nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England, which UK authorities say has almost certainly been approved “at a level superior of the Russian state ”.
Moscow has vehemently denied these allegations. The Skripals survived, but the attack later claimed the life of a British woman and left a man seriously ill.