Russian President Vladimir Putin "personally ordered" the killing of Alexander Litvinenko, the inquiry into the former spy's death has heard.
Ben Emmerson QC, for Mr Litvinenko's family, said in his closing statement that Russian state responsibility had been proven "beyond reasonable doubt".
Mr Litvinenko's widow Marina said she believed her husband's "murderers and their paymasters" had "been unmasked"...
The Kremlin wanted Mr Litvinenko dead and provided the poison used to kill him, Mr Emmerson alleged.
Scientific evidence proves Mr Kovtun and Mr Lugovoi killed the former spy, he added.
Mr Emmerson told the inquiry Mr Putin was an "increasingly isolated tinpot despot" and a "morally deranged authoritarian".
He said the Russian president and his allies are "directly implicated in organised crime".
Mr Putin's "personal cabal" are "willing to murder those who stand in their way", Mr Emmerson added.
He said: "If the Russian state is responsible, Vladimir Putin is responsible.
"Not on some analogical version of vicarious liability but because he personally ordered the liquidation of an enemy who was bent on exposing him and his cronies."
Mrs Litvinenko added: "Any reasonable person who looks at the evidence presented in the inquiry will see my husband was killed by agents of the Russian state in the first ever act of nuclear terrorism in the streets of London.
"This could not have happened without knowledge and consent of Mr Putin."
...в первой половине дня были заслушаны показания свидетелей, изобличающие Ковтуна. Главный свидетель, проходящий под кодом Д3 в целях безопасности – старый приятель Ковтуна, житель Гамбурга, у которого Ковтун ночевал 30 октября 2006 г перед отлетом в Лондон. Возвращаясь вечером из ресторана, Ковтун поделился с приятелем своим планом отравить Литвиненко “очень дорогим ядом”, потому что тот “предатель, у которого на руках кровь” и чтобы “преподать урок” другим.
Д3 тогда решил, что Ковтун мелет чепуху, но три недели спустя прочитал об этом в газетах и сообщил о том разговоре полиции. Д3 сказал, что с тех пор живет в постоянном страхе и люто ненавидит Ковтуна, за то что тот втянул его в эту историю, и запачкал его матрас радиоактивным полонием.
Scotland Yard Accuses Russia of Using Nuclear Weapon in London
LONDON — Scotland Yard has formally accused Russia of carrying out a nuclear attack on the streets of London for the first time.
Years of painstaking investigation and forensic work have convinced British law enforcement agents and the security services that the Kremlin was behind a dastardly plot to assassinate a Russian defector with a cup of tea laced with the radioactive isotope Polonium-210.
“Our silence must now end,” said the lawyer representing Scotland Yard, on the penultimate day of the inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko.
“The… investigation has always had, at its central core, the science,” said Richard Horwell QC, representing Scotland Yard.
He explained that the radioactive trail proved Dmitri Kovtun, a former Soviet army officer, and Andrei Lugovoi, a retired FSB agent, had been the men who administered the fatal dose of nuclear poison. Their attempt to evade the authorities using such a rare murder weapon backfired spectacularly.
“It is the scientific evidence that condemns Lugovoi and Kovtun,” Horwell told the inquiry “No matter how many state honors Putin may pin to Lugovoi’s chest for services to the motherland, however meteoric Lugovoi’s rise in politics has been and may become, however many times Kovtun promises to blow apart this inquiry, Lugovoi and Kovtun have no credible answer to the evidence and to the trail of polonium they left behind.”
“The evidence suggests the only credible explanation is that in one form or another the Russian state was involved in Mr. Litvinenko’s murder,” Horwell said. “The two attacks on Mr. Litvinenko were an outrage. They led to great suffering on his part and eventually to his demise.”
British officials also believe the plot to bring radioactive substances into London could have endangered many more lives. Traces of Polonium were found all over the city where Lugovoi visited, including a lap-dancing club and the Arsenal soccer stadium.
“We will never know how dangerous the exposure of polonium to the public at large will be and what long-term effects will be visited upon Londoners,” said Horwell.