British evidence shows Russia 'involved' in murder of M16 spy Alexander Litvinenko
Britain has evidence that Russia was involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who was working for MI6 when he died, a coroner has heard.
The pre-inquest review was told that the former KGB spy had been hired by MI6 for a number of years.
He was also working with Spain to investigate the Russian mafia shortly before his death.
According to Sky News, Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210 after allegedly drinking tea at a meeting with two former Russian colleagues, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun, in London's Millennium Hotel in November 2006.
Russia has refused to extradite the prime suspects, Lugovoy and Kovtun, both of whom have denied any involvement in Litvinenko's death, the report said.
The hearing revealed for the first time that Lugovoy, now a Russian MP, was double-crossing his government and helping with an investigation into the Russian mafia's links with the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the report added.
According to the report, Hugh Davies, counsel to the investigation into Litvinenko's death, said that assessments of confidential material submitted by the British Government had 'established a prima facie case as to the culpability of the Russian state in the death of Alexander Litvinenko'.
After the hearing, Litvinenko's wife Marina said she was pleased the alleged involvement of the Russian government in her husband's murder would now be considered by the inquest.
Davies said assessments of confidential material that was submitted by the British Government showed there was no evidence to suggest the UK was involved in the poisoning of Litvinenko or that it failed to take necessary steps to protect him, the report added.