ECHR: Poisoning of Litvinenko points to Russia’s responsibility

The European Court of Human Rights has concluded that the case of the 2006 lethal poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko points to the blame of Russia, British public broadcaster BBC reports.
Alexander Litvinenko (1962-2006) was an officer of the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB), the Russian Federal Security Service before speaking out against possible crimes of the Russian Federal Security Service and defecting to the United Kingdom. Being a British citizen, he died of polonium poisoning in 2006 in London.
A UK public inquiry found in 2016 that former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi and another Russian, Dmitry Kovtun deliberately poisoned Litvinenko by putting the radioactive substance into his drink. The inquiry alleged that the killing was «probably approved» by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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Russia has consistently denied any involvement in his murder. Lugovoi and Kovtun have also denied having been involved in the killing.
Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, took the case against Russia to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which has now 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. The court also noted that Russia’s failure to refute claims that it organised the hit further pointed towards the state’s responsibility, BBC reports.