Former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko was working for British and Spanish secret services when he was poisoned with polonium-210 in November 2006. Mr Litvinenko, who died shortly after being poisoned, was investigating the role of the Russian mafia in Spain when he met with two former KGB colleagues at a hotel in London.
In the pre-inquest held yesterday, it also emerged that the former spy held a joint bank account with his wife where British and Spanish secret services used to make their payments.
Mr Litivinenko was allegedly poisoned while drinking tea at a hotel in Mayfair. The main suspect is ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi whom Litvinenko met at the hotel with another former KGB agent called Dmitry Kovtum. They met two discuss the role of the Russian mafia and Mr Litvinenko and Mr Lugovoi had arranged to go to Spain to offer help to Spanish prosecutors.
The Daily Mail reports:
In a further twist, it was claimed by a lawyer acting for Russian dissident billionaire Boris Berezovsky that Lugovoy was actually double-crossing his spymasters at the Kremlin. Mr Litvinenko died three weeks after being poisoned by the radioactive isotope.
An inquiry set up after his death said secret Government documents, which included material submitted by Scotland Yard and intelligence agencies, showed that the Russian state did have a case to answer.
In the hearings held on Thursday, it also emerged that a handler known as Martin had been assigned to Mr Litvinenko a few days before being poisoned. The former KGB spy’s widow, Martina Litvinenko, has accused the British government of failing to protect her husband against a “real and immediate risk to life.”