Dmitry Kovtun was one of two people who, according to an investigation in the UK, poisoned Litvinenko’s tea with a rare radioactive substance back in 2006.
According to the state Russian news agency TASS, Kovtun has a contract coronavirus before his death in a Moscow hospital.
Kovtun and Andrei Luhau were accused of being behind Litvinenko’s murder 16 years ago at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.
As reported by TASS with reference to Lugovoi, who is now a member of the UN Russian parliament, saying it mourns the death of a “close and loyal friend”.
A British public inquiry in 2016 concluded that the murder of an outspoken critic Vladimir Putinwho died after drinking tea with radioactive polonium-210, “probably” was carried out with the permission of the President of Russia.
The investigation revealed that two Russians deliberately poisoned Litvinenko by giving a radioactive substance to his drink at a hotel in central London, which led to a painful death.
The European Court of Human Rights also ruled last year in a case filed by the deceased’s widow Marina Litvinenko that Russia was responsible for his murder.
Russia has always denied involvement in the deaths and refused to carry out international arrest warrants for Kovtun and Lugovoi.
Sir Robert Litvinenko’s investigation says the use of the radioactive substance is a “strong indicator” of the state’s involvement and that the two probably operated under the Russian FSB security service, where Litvinenko previously worked.
Among the possible motives are Litvinenko’s work in the British secret services after fleeing Russia, his criticism of the FSB and his connection with other Russian dissidents.
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