RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has been described as “a common criminal dressed up as a head of state” in a public inquiry into the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Speaking on the first day of the hearing in London, Ben Emerson, QC for Litvinenko’s widow Marina, added that the Russian had been targeted in a “horrifying” political assassination because he had said he would reveal links between Putin and organised crime.
Litvinenko died after two KGB agents had slipped radioactive Polonium 210 into his tea, the inquiry heard in the Royal Courts of Justice, London.
The long-awaited inquiry – eight years after Litvinenko’s death – follows the collapse of an inquest after the UK government refused to release classified files.
Emerson said yesterday, Tuesday January 27, that the trail of evidence for the assassination led straight to Putin’s door, who, Emerson claimed, had ordered the murder.
Litvinenko is said to have worked for British security service MI6 and helped Spanish investigators looking at links between Putin and the Tambov-Malyshev gang, one of Russia’s most powerful organised crime groups, which had operations in Spain.