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POISONER DEAD

Russian accused of murdering Putin enemy Alexander Litvinenko dies of Covid

POISONER Dmitry Kovtun — accused of murdering Putin enemy Alexander Litvinenko in London — has died of Covid aged 56.

The death will increase speculation that Kovtun also poisoned himself with polonium-210 when he spiked Litvinenko’s tea at a hotel in the capital in 2006.

Dmitry Kovtun has died of Covid aged 56
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Dmitry Kovtun has died of Covid aged 56Credit: Reuters
Kovtun was accused of murdering Putin enemy Alexander Litvinenko in London
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Kovtun was accused of murdering Putin enemy Alexander Litvinenko in LondonCredit: Getty

Fellow ex-FSB operative Andrei Lugovoy — also accused of Litvinenko’s killing — confirmed Kovtun’s death in Moscow.

Lugovoy, 55, now an ultranationalist Russian MP, said: “We have the sad news that my close and loyal friend Dmitry Kovtun passed away suddenly as a result of a serious illness linked to a coronavirus infection.

“Sleep well, dear friend! We will never forget you.”

Russian news agency Tass confirmed the death.

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The pair always denied involvement in poising Litvinenko, who died aged 43, but Britain alleged the assassination was ordered by Putin or his circle.

A trail of the radioactive agent on plane seats led back to Moscow and to Germany — where Kovtun was based at the time.

Both men were subject to sanctions but Russia always refused to allow their extradition for trial in Britain.

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