St Petersburg: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that Russia was responsible for the assassination of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died an agonizing death in 2006 after being poisoned in London with a rare radioactive substance.
Litvinenko, a defector who had become a vocal critic of the Kremlin, died three weeks after drinking green tea laced with polonium-210 at a plush London hotel.
In its statement, the ECHR said that Russia failed to convincingly contradict UK findings.
“[The court] noted that the Government had failed to provide any other satisfactory and convincing explanation of the events or counter the findings of the UK inquiry,” the European court said.
The image of Litvinenko, 43, lying on his bed at London’s University College Hospital, yellow, gaunt, and with hair fallen out, was emblazoned across British and other Western newspapers.
From his deathbed, Litvinenko told detectives he believed President Vladimir Putin had directly ordered his killing.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov took a jab at the court’s access to technology and claimed it did not have sufficient tools to collect the information needed to back its claims. (Agencies)