British Queen Counsel Ben Emmerson this week created a storm of interest, if not controversy with his claims that Russian president Vladimir Putin ran a “mafia state” and was behind the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Litvinenko was killed through poisoning with polonium, which the QC described was an “act of nuclear terrorism on streets of a major city”.
He died in a London hospital in 2006 from radiation poisoning.
Two Russians, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, have denied any involvement, the BBC report.
Mr Litvinenko was 43 when he died from radioactive polonium-210 poisoning, three weeks after drinking tea laced with the substance at a meeting with the Russians at London’s Millennium Hotel in November 2006.
In his opening statement on the first day of the inquiry, Mr Emmerson said Mr Litvinenko was “eliminated” because he had made an enemy of the “close knit group of criminals who surrounded and still surround Vladimir Putin and keep his corrupt regime in power”.
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