Russia, guilty of the murder of the dissident Litvinenko in the United Kingdom

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (File image) / EP

The ex-spy was poisoned with Polonium-210 in London in 2006

EP Madrid

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday found the Russian government guilty of the murder of dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after being poisoned while in the United Kingdom, a country that had granted him political asylum.

The court, which has affected the responsibility of Moscow in his death, has also ordered the State to pay compensation of 100,000 euros for damages to his wife, Marina Litvinenko, who has filed the lawsuit. Although the Russian government will have to pay another 22,500 euros for the expenses incurred, the court has decided not to apply punitive damages.

The sentence has gone ahead unanimously, with six votes in favor and one against. For the ECHR, Russia has violated Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights – it has not made it possible for the case to be duly examined – as well as Article 2.

In a statement, the court has indicated that Russia has “failed without justification” when it comes to delivering the material that has been required to carry out the investigation into the death of the Russian dissident. It has also rejected the objections of the Government, which has opposed using the findings made by the British Justice as evidence.

“The investigation has met the requirements of independence, justice and transparency, and this cannot be rejected for the mere fact that the Russian authorities have refrained from exercising their right to participate in such procedures,” the text states. that there is a relationship between Russia and the death of Litvinenko in the United Kingdom.

The court has established, in turn, that beyond a reasonable doubt the Russian citizens Andrei Logovoy and Dimitri Kovtun had carried out the murder of the former spy of the Committee for State Security (KGB), who was administered Polonius- 210.

Despite the fact that the Russian authorities have delivered to the court a series of documents on the line of investigation, the court has insisted that no documentary evidence has been presented to corroborate the statements of the Russian Government.

For this reason, the ECHR considers that Russia has failed to demonstrate that it has carried out an “effective” investigation capable of establishing the facts that took place to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the murder.

Litvinenko, one of the biggest opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in November 2006, three weeks after he drank green tea with Polonium-210 added at a London hotel just after he obtained British citizenship. .

Before dying, the dissident would have assured detectives that Putin had ordered his assassination. Lawyers for Litvinenko’s family, who have consistently called his death “a nuclear attack on the streets of London,” have claimed that Russia’s involvement in the crime is the only credible explanation, and that the investigation is likely to come. to a similar conclusion.

For its part, Russia has consistently rejected these accusations that relate it to Litvinenko’s death and has considered that the investigation has been carried out for political reasons, a procedure in which the Kremlin has refused to participate.


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