Russian wanted by UK over Litvinenko poisoning dies

Russian wanted by UK over Litvinenko poisoning dies

Dmitry Kovtun had been wanted by the UK in connection with the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Businessman Dmitry Kovtun, one of the two Russians accused by the UK of poisoning former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, died on Saturday.

A Russian MP wanted by London over the Litvinenko case, Kovtun died on social media by his close friend Andrey Lugovoy. He said Kovtun passed away from complications of Covid 19.

The British authorities accused Kovtun and Lugovoy of murdering Litvinenko and demanded their extradition, which was refused by Russia.

Both men met Litvinenko several times in the weeks leading up to his death, which was determined to be from poisoning caused by the radioactive element polonium.

In 2021, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Litvinenko was assassinated while acting as agents of Russia. The verdict was not politically motivated and baseless, according to the Kremlin.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Litvinenko worked in the Russian Federal Security Service, the successor agency of the KGB. He fled to Britain in 2000 after a series of criminal investigations were launched against him. He became critical of the Russian government and co-authored a book in which he claimed that the 1999 apartment bombings in Russia were an inside job.