The death of Dmitry Kovtun was announced by State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoy, whom the British authorities also consider guilty of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko with polonium. Previously, both of them have repeatedly denied involvement in the death of the ex-FSB officer alt=”Kovtun, figure involved in the Litvinenko case, died from the consequences of COVID” />
Died businessman Dmitry Kovtun, whom the British authorities consider guilty of the death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 in London. State Duma deputy Andrey Lugovoy announced this on his Telegram channel.
“As a result of a serious illness associated with coronavirus infection, my close and faithful friend Dmitry Kovtun suddenly died,”— he wrote. Lugovoy called Kovtun's death a bereavement and expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the businessman.
According to a TASS source close to Kovtun, the entrepreneur died on June 4 in a Moscow hospital from the effects of COVID-19.
Alexander Litvinenko left Russia with his family in 2000 and came to the UK after several criminal cases were opened against him in his homeland. According to UK law enforcement authorities, Litvinenko was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210, which was mixed into his tea during a meeting with Kovtun, his former FSB colleague, and Lugovoi. They denied the accusations and claimed that they themselves were victims of poisoning.
Kovtun said in 2015 that Litvinenko died as a result of “negligent suicide”. According to the businessman, on the day they met, the former FSB officer complained about the poisoning. Kovtun also suggested that death could have occurred as a result of an accident.
However, Judge Sir Robert Owen, who led the public inquiry into the Litvinenko murder, ruled out that possibility. “He was intentionally poisoned by third parties,” — he said, expressing his belief that Kovtun and Lugovoi had placed the polonium-210 in the kettle at the Pine bar in London's Millennium Hotel. Kovtun considered that the judge came to this conclusion “on the basis of falsified, fabricated evidence”, and Lugovoy called the accusations against him absurd.
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In July 2015, at a hearing in London, the testimony of a secret witness was read out, according to which Kovtun told him about the intention to “lure” ex-FSB officer in an interview to “finish him off”.
In September last year, the ECtHR issued a verdict according to which the guilt of Lugovoy and Kovtun in Litvinenko's death is not questioned, and ordered Russia to pay €100,000 to the widow of former FSB officer Maria Carter (Marina Litvinenko). Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov called the accusations “unfounded”, noted that there were still no results of the investigation into the death of Litvinenko, and said that Moscow would not comply with the decision of the ECtHR.
The Russian Foreign Ministry considered the process of case of the murder of Litvinenko in the UK controversial and criminal, the Kremlin said London's conclusions were “superficial and very unprofessional”; and called them a quasi-investigation.
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