Alexander Litvinenko killing: Russia responsible for assassination, European court rules

The ruling discovered that “Russia was answerable for assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko within the UK.”

“The Court docket discovered particularly that there was a powerful prima facie case that, in poisoning Mr Litvinenko, Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun had been appearing as brokers of the Russian State,” it mentioned, referring to the names of two Russian brokers accused of killing Litvinenko.

The courtroom additionally dominated that Russian authorities “had not carried out an efficient home investigation able to resulting in the institution of the details and, the place applicable, the identification and punishment of these answerable for the homicide.”

The ECHR verdict helps the findings of a 2016 British inquiry that discovered that the 2 Russian brokers poisoned Litvinenko at a London resort bar in 2006 by spiking his inexperienced tea with the extremely radioactive polonium-210.

In a press release from his deathbed in London in November 2006, Litvinenko mentioned he had little doubt about who was guilty for his imminent demise.

“It’s possible you’ll achieve silencing one man, however the howl of protest from world wide will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the remainder of your life,” he mentioned.

The British inquiry mentioned that Putin “in all probability authorized” the ex-spy’s killing.

The Kremlin has at all times denied the accusation, as did the 2 brokers accused of the poisoning, whom the Russian authorities has refused to extradite to the UK.

On Tuesday, the ECHR mentioned that “the courtroom discovered it established, past cheap doubt, that the assassination had been carried out by Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun.”

“The deliberate and sophisticated operation involving the procurement of a uncommon lethal poison, the journey preparations for the pair, and repeated and sustained makes an attempt to manage the poison indicated that Mr Litvinenko had been the goal of the operation,” it mentioned.

The ECHR ruling concluded that if the boys been finishing up a “rogue operation,” it might be as much as Russian authorities to show that principle.

“Nevertheless, the federal government had made no severe try to offer such info or to counter the findings of the UK authorities,” it mentioned.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pushed again on the ruling Tuesday, saying that Moscow was “not able to take cue from such conclusions,” and that “it’s unlikely that the ECHR has the authority or the technological capabilities to have info on this matter.”

“As you understand, there are nonetheless no outcomes of this investigation, so making such statements is no less than unfounded,” Peskov mentioned, referring to a home prison investigation launched in December 2006 that the ECHR mentioned they’ve few particulars about.


Litvinenko had labored for the FSB, Russia’s successor company to the KGB, the previous Soviet secret police and intelligence company. Whereas his specialty was in tackling organized crime, his final job on the company, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, was heading up its anti-corruption division. From that place, he made many enemies.

In 1998, he went public with allegations that he had been requested to look at the opportunity of assassinating a rich businessman. He was subsequently fired from the company, and fled Russia, in accordance with the ECHR.

He additionally blamed the company for orchestrating a sequence of house bombings in Russia in 1999 that left tons of lifeless and led to Russia’s invasion of Chechnya later that yr.

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny dupes spy into revealing how he was poisoned
In 2001 Litvinenko and his household have been granted asylum within the UK, buying British citizenship in 2006. His widow, Marina, who now is named Maria Anna Carter and nonetheless lives in London, introduced the case to the ECHR in 2007.

Litvinenko will not be the primary Putin critic to be allegedly poisoned.

In 2018, the previous Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have been sickened by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, In Salisbury, England. British prosecutors charged two Russian nationals, — who’ve now been formally recognized as officers of the Russian army intelligence service, Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin — over the poisonings that yr. London Metropolitan police approved fees in opposition to a 3rd Russian intelligence agent, recognized as Denis Sergeev, aka “Sergey Fedotov,” on Tuesday.
And in August 2020, outstanding opposition chief Alexey Navalny was poisoned with the identical deadly nerve agent.

CNN’s Anna Chernova, Seb Shukla and Lindsay Isaac contributed to this report.

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