MOSCOW – Russian agent Dmitry Kovtun, accused by British authorities of poisoning former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, has died aged 57.
Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, who has also been accused by Britain of the spy’s murder, announced Kovtun’s death on his messaging app channel. Lugovoi said Kovtun died on Saturday from an illness caused by COVID-19. According to Russian news reports, he died in a hospital in Moscow.
A British inquiry concluded that Kovtun and Lugovoi killed Litvinenko and that Russian President Vladimir Putin “probably approved” the operation. The European Court of Human Rights supported the British conclusion.
The Kremlin has vehemently denied any involvement.
Kovtun and Lugovoi also denied having played any role in Litvinenko’s death.
A former agent of the KGB and its post-Soviet successor agency, the FSB, Litvinenko fled Russia in 2000 and fled to London. He participated in exposing corruption and links to organized crime in Russian intelligence.
He became seriously ill in November 2006 after having tea with two Russian men in a London hotel and died three weeks later. His tea was found to be laced with radioactive polonium-210.
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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/06/04/russian-agent-kovtun-accused-in-spy-poisoning-dead-at-57/ Russian agent Kovtun, charged with espionage poisoning, dead at 57