London – Polonium-210 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy in Britain, was probably approved by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a judicial report published on Thursday. As a response, Russia has declared that the UK politicized a criminal case. Litvinenko’s widow said she was pleased that her husband’s words were proved by the English court.
The inquiry was conducted by Robert Owen, a retired High Court Judge, who concluded on a report that was published on Thursday, that former KGB and FSB agent Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, a former Russian army officer, probably poisoned Litvinenko, who was hospitalized in 2006 and died three weeks later after developing acute radiation syndrome, as a consequence of being poisoned with polonium-210, a lethal substance that can be produced in a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator.
“I was framed. I suspect this was some British intelligence operation involving Litvinenko and possibly Berezovsky that went wrong. I was contaminated by Litvinenko or someone else, not the other way round. I think polonium was planted on us and left in places we visited, to frame us,” said Andrei Lugovoi, one of the men who were accused of poisoning Litvinenko, according to chairman Sir Robert Owen, who wrote a judicial report that was released Thursday.
He also explained that the operation to kill the 44-year-old was ordered by the Russian President. In 2016, Litvinenko said in a deathbed statement, which was read by a friend, that two suspects who followed Putin orders put polonium-210 into his tea in Mayfair. Marina Litvinenko affirmed she was pleased that the murder has been proved true by the UK. Later, she said to CNN that Putin was directly involved in the case and explained that the president protected Lugovoi, who was a member of the Russian parliament.
“The Minister set out the UK Government’s deep concern regarding the findings of the independent Litvinenko Inquiry report. He made clear that the inquiry’s conclusion concerning the Russian State’s probable involvement in this murder was deeply disturbing, demonstrating a flagrant disregard for UK law, international law and standards of conduct, and the safety of UK citizens. The Minister said that this would further complicate bilateral relations, undermine trust, and damage Russia’s reputation internationally,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Marina Litvinenko called the murder “the first-ever act of nuclear terrorism on the streets of London” and explained that such thing couldn’t have occurred without the approval of Putin. She encouraged David Cameron, British Prime Minister, to expulse Russian officials from the UK and declare economic sanctions to Russian people implicated in the poisoning, like president Putin.
It was reported that after the poisoning took place 10 years ago at the Pine Bar in the Millennium Hotel, traces of the lethal radioactive substance were found in offices, hotels, planes and in a soccer stadium at London. The UK has already requested Russia to provide information about the case and extradite Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun. However, the Kremlin have not accepted the allegations yet.