British court says Putin “probably approved” killing spy in London
LONDON (AP) The widow of poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is relieved with the verdict of a British public inquiry into his death and is urging the British government to take steps against Russian agents operating inside Britain.
Marina Litvinenko said Thursday outside the High Court in London she was — in her words — “very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed, when he accused Mr. Putin, have been proved by an English court.”
Judge Robert Owen said Thursday he is certain that Litvinenko was given tea laced with a fatal dose of polonium-210 at a London hotel in November 2006. He says there is a “strong probability” that the FSB directed the killing and the operation was “probably approved” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Owen said Litvinenko “had repeatedly targeted President Putin” with “highly personal” public criticism.
Britain to freeze assets of poisoning suspects
The British government says it will freeze the assets of the two main Russian suspects in the killing of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who is in charge of justice issues, also told lawmakers that the government is summoning the Russian ambassador to the Foreign Office to express its “profound displeasure.”
May said that the conclusion from British investigators today that the Russian government was probably involved in the murder of Litvinenko was “deeply disturbing.”
One of the two men named as possible killers is now a member of Russia’s parliament. And he’s calling the allegations against him “absurd.”