Former Russian security agent-turned-Kremlin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko died in London on November 23, 2006, after being poisoned with highly radioactive polonium-210. He had fled to Britain in 2000 after publicly accusing the Federal Security Service (FSB) of plotting to kill oligarch Boris Berezovsky. He later co-authored a book blaming the FSB for the 1999 apartment bombings.
The British investigation found Litvinenko drank tea laced with polonium during a meeting in a London hotel several weeks earlier with two Russians, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun. Moscow has refused to extradite them. In January 2017, the United States blacklisted both under the Magnitsky Act.
In its ruling issued on September 21, 2021 the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights said it had established 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the killing had been carried out by Lugovoi and Kovtun, and 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.'
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036