Home / World / Report on Alexander Litvinenko’s case published: Putin “probably” approved the murder

Report on Alexander Litvinenko’s case published: Putin “probably” approved the murder

On January 21, the judge of the High Court of London, Sir Robert Owen announced conclusions of the inquiry on the murder of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006
Report on Alexander Litvinenko’s case published: Putin "probably" approved the murder

The inquiry published on Thursday, led by the judge of the High Court of London, Sir Robert Owen came to the conclusion that the murder of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 in the UK was “probably” approved by President Vladimir Putin, BBC reports.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to have signed off the poisoning of Aleksandr Litvinenko with polonium-210 in part due to personal “antagonism” between the pair, it said.

Mr Litvinenko died aged 43 in London in 2006, days after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210, which he is believed to have drunk in a cup of tea.

Owen also came to the conclusion that direct poisoners of Litvinenko became Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun. Both of them have defied the accusation of killing Litvinenko.

The judge will decide whether to name any culprits and whether any elements in the Russian state were responsible.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the murder was a “blatant and unacceptable” breach of international law.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry said the public inquiry was “politicised”.

It said: “We regret that the purely criminal case was politicised and overshadowed the general atmosphere of bilateral relations.”

Dmitry Peskov, President Putin’s spokesman, said Moscow’s official response to the report will happen through “diplomatic channels”, referring to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would have to go on having “some sort of relationship with them [Russia]” because of the Syria crisis, but it would be done with “clear eyes and a very cold heart”.

BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera says the real issue for the report is whether the trail leads to the heart of the Russian state and even to President Vladimir Putin himself.