Russian president Putin probably approved Litvinenko killing
Jan 21, Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the murder of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 in the UK, a British inquiry has found.
Putin is likely to have signed off the poisoning of Litvinenko with polonium-210 in part due to personal "antagonism" between the pair, it said.
Judge Robert Owen said on Thursday that it was likely the Russian leader signed off the killing of Litvinenko after a long-running feud.
Owen's 300-page report said Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun were probably acting under the direction of Moscow's FSB intelligence service, successor of the KGB, when they poisoned the 43-year-old with radioactive polonium 210 at London's Millennium Hotel.
Owen said that Litvinenko's work for British intelligence agencies, his criticism of the FSB and Mr Putin, and his association with other Russian dissidents were possible motives for his killing.
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."
The long-awaited report into his death found two Russian men - Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun - deliberately poisoned 43-year-old Litvinenko in London in 2006 by putting the radioactive substance polonium-210 into his drink at a hotel.
The Oslo Times