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Evidence Shows Russian Role In Litvinenko Death

Aleksandr Litvinenko in a London hospital bed in November 2006.
A London court has heard testimony that the Russian government was involved in the 2006 poisoning of former Russian spy Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Hugh Davies, counsel to the inquest into Litvinenko's death, said at the December 13 preliminary hearing that an examination of the British government's material on the case establishes a "prima facie case as to the culpability of the Russian state."

Medical experts determined Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210, probably while having tea at a London hotel with former Russian agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun.

The Kremlin denies any role in Litvinenko's murder and refuses to hand over Lugovoi and Kovtun to British authorities.

Also at the hearing, the lawyer for Litvinenko's widow said the former Russian spy was working for Britain's MI6 and Spanish intelligence before he was poisoned.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa